CDC Developing Guidance Regarding Responding to COVID-19 in Dental Settings
March 10, 2020
As the expanding global outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues, the federal government continues to work closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as public health partners across the globe to respond to this public health threat.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Oral Health (DOH) is diligently working with CDC’s Emergency Operations Center to develop tailored COVID-19 guidance for dental health care personnel (DHCP). Once this guidance is available online, DOH and partners will promote these resources as well as any related events (e.g., informational webinar, Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity) to the dental community.
It’s unknown at this time what the full impact of COVID-19 will be in the US; however, CDC is preparing as if this were the beginning of a pandemic. All healthcare facilities should take steps now to prepare for the possibility of a widespread and severe COVID-19 outbreak to prepare their practices and protect both their patients and staff. CDC urges providers to be familiar with the information on CDC’s COVID-19 website. Specific information is available for Healthcare Professionals, including a Healthcare Professional Preparedness Checklist, instructions on Evaluating and Reporting Persons Under Investigation (PUI), and a page on What Healthcare Personnel Should Know. DHCP can also consider signing up for communications from CDC’s Health Alert Network, which is CDC’s primary method of sharing cleared information about urgent public health incidents.
Standard precautions, including the use of proper personal protective equipment, should be followed when caring for any patient. These practices are designed to both protect DHCP and prevent DHCP from spreading infections among patients.
CDC’s guidelines note that, if not clinically urgent, DHCP should consider postponing non-emergency or elective dental procedures in patients who have signs or symptoms of respiratory illness. For procedures which are considered clinically urgent, dental health care personnel and medical providers should work together to determine an appropriate facility for treatment. The urgency of a procedure is a decision based on clinical judgement and should be made on a case-by-case basis.
The Division of Oral Health will communicate through partners as soon as tailored guidance is available for the dental community.
ADA Calls Upon Dentists to Postpone Elective Procedures (March 16, 2020)
The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes the unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances dentists and all health care professionals face related to growing concern about COVID-19. The ADA is deeply concerned for the health and well-being of the public and the dental team.
In order for dentistry to do its part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the ADA recommends dentists nationwide postpone elective procedures for the next three weeks. Concentrating on emergency dental care will allow us to care for our emergency patients and alleviate the burden that dental emergencies would place on hospital emergency departments.
As health care professionals, it is up to dentists to make well-informed decisions about their patients and practices. The ADA is committed to providing the latest information to the profession in a useful and timely manner.
The ADA is continually evaluating and will update its recommendation on an ongoing basis as new information becomes available.
If you have questions that are not answered by the FAQ, please email MSC@ada.org.
Update from ADHA and President Matt R Crespin. Thank you to everyone involved for all your hard work. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Regarding COVID -19 and the concern in which many of you have in continuing to provide treatment to patients in your places of employment, the Texas Dental Hygienists’ Association felt the need to address these concerns and to ensure you that TDHA is ready to help and support you in any way possible as your professional oral healthcare organization. The health of you, your family, your patients and your work colleagues are of utmost importance. We strongly suggest that you heed the information that the CDC has recently provided for oral healthcare providers by going to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/o…/infectioncontrol/statement-COVID.html . We also suggest your office have a protocol in place as to how to handle this urgent situation. You may also want to visit this site, https://www.congress.gov/…/116th-congr…/house-bill/6201/text . This article, “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” has information on how the federal government is trying to help those whose businesses and/or places of employment have closed their doors for a few weeks due to COVID-19. We will continue to provide any updates regarding treatment within the dental setting as we get access to them. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us through our website or Facebook.
Marian Tajchman, RDH, MS TDHA President
The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) is working closely with the Office of the Governor, the Department of State Health Services and additional state agencies to ensure Texans have the information and guidance they need to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Due to the developing nature of the public health event, TSBDE is monitoring other regulatory issues that may affect our licensees as they manage the COVID-19 crisis. TSBDE will provide any updates on these issues on our website: www.tsbde.texas.gov.
TSBDE will continue working to protect the public’s health and safety during this public health emergency.
For the latest COVID-19 information for dental care providers and the public, please visit the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) COVID-19 web page at dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov/…/2019-ncov/hcp/caring-for-patients.html