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As dental practices reopen, CDC and ADA offer guidance

Dental offices have unique attributes that require specific considerations when reopening an office during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As some dental practices across the U.S. begin plans to reopen and provide non-emergency care, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Dental Association (ADA) continue to release guidance to help address concerns and procedures when returning to seeing patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A free toolkit from the ADA provides interim guidance with a framework to help protect patients, staff, and dentists as practices start to provide the full range of oral health care.

Called the “Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit,” the toolkit includes a sample letter to patients, guidance on pre-appointment screening, procedures for in-office patient registration, strategies for the reception area, staff protection procedures, and a supplies shopping list. 

ADA members can also access the ADA’s COVID-19 Hazard Assessment, a guide and checklist that helps dentists evaluate COVID-19 transmission risks that may exist in their practices.

The CDC has also released guidance for dental settings as some practices reopen to see patients.

The CDC notes that practices should prioritize the most critical dental services, similar to recent guidance to physician practices. They recommend that dentists provide care in a way that minimizes harm to patients from delaying care, and harm to personnel from potential exposure to COVID-19.

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