NON-URGENT public dental procedures will be postponed in Victoria for at least three months, effective immediately, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Health minister Jenny Mikakos said the measure was needed to help slow the spread of the virus and allow health services to prepare for what was an "unprecedented challenge".
Treatments and checkups as part of the Smile Squad school dental program are among those that would be suspended.
Other affected services included general dental care, routine denture services, specialist care, oral health promotion, teaching clinics and day surgery procedures.
The government said patients with appointments in the next three months would be contacted to discuss their treatment plans and make new appointments when services resumed.
"We're putting the safety of patients and health care workers first by ensuring health care professionals have the equipment they need when they need it," Ms Mikakos said.
The government said the measure would ensure supplies were available for critical dental services and free up personal protective equipment for frontline health workers.
Emergency and urgent dental care would remain accessible at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne and "many community-based dental services" statewide.
The government said health screening procedures would be in place at those clinics.
The three-month suspension of non-urgent public dental procedures would be reassessed in three months to determine if a further extension was required.
"I urge all Victorians to maintain their oral health by eating well, drinking tap water, and brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste," Ms Mikakos said.
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