The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Sovereign Health Care donation helps continue dental treatment at Leeds Dental Institute during pandemic

5 March 2021

previewCOVID-19 has had a huge impact on dentistry across the UK, as concerns about transmitting the virus through aerosols have limited the treatment options available. Most dental procedures to undertake fillings, crown and bridge work and root treatments involve the use of high-speed drills and are classed as Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs).

While it was possible to perform these AGPs with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in enclosed dental surgeries, it was not possible in all areas at Leeds Dental Institute as clinical chairs for the undergraduate students are predominantly in open-plan clinics.

Sovereign Health Care has donated £36,000 to support funding of new equipment - electric micromotors and handpieces - which work differently and so mitigate aerosol generation. The first batch of equipment has arrived and staff and students have been trained in their use. We have recently commenced treating patients with this newly installed  equipment.

Dr John Steele, Clinical Director for Leeds Dental Institute, said: “We are committed to safely provide a full range of treatment to all of our patients in both the NHS and teaching clinics. The use of micromotors will allow students to gain the necessary experience required to graduate as safe beginners. This generous donation has helped serve the dental needs of disadvantaged cohorts of patients within the community, as well as getting training back on track for the future dental workforce.”

Russ Piper, CEO of Sovereign Health Care, said: “The ability to access dental care is an essential part of maintaining health and wellbeing and ensuring that dental issues do not create longer-term health problems.

As a longstanding partner of Leeds Teaching Hospitals, we are pleased to provide this support to ensure that the Leeds Dental Institute can adapt its care to provide local communities with COVID-safe dental treatments and continue the great work it does both on-site and via outreach services.”


Recent research carried out by University of Leeds School of Dentistry and Kings College London has shown that replacing air rotor driven drills hand pieces to an electric micro motors, controlled to a speed of 60,000 rpm under a water coolant, can eliminate the generation of aerosols and mitigate the risk of viral spread. These new motors and hand pieces along with high volume aspiration and using a rubber dam,- ensure patients, students and staff are kept safe.

Leeds Dental Institute is one of the first dental hospitals to equip all dental units with these new electric motors.


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