As states and dental practices begin to prepare for reopening after ADA guidance to postpone non-urgent dental procedures through April 30, the ADA has offered additional guidance on proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
“In states that are considering reopening, the ADA believes dentists should exercise professional judgment and carefully consider the availability of appropriate PPE to minimize risk of virus transmission.”
The ADA released interim guidance about the use of masks and face shields to help dental providers make treatment protocol decisions as they consider reopening. They urge providers to use the most protective form of PPE available to treat patients and reduce patient and provider risk of exposure to COVID-19. Additionally, to decide on reopening and proper protection, provider professional judgment and knowing the patient’s risk factors are key.
Click here to download ADA Guidance Documents:
Optimize Re-opening through Teledentistry
Upon re-opening, patient and provider interactions will still be limited and protocols should be in place to lessen the amount of time a patient is present in-office to reduce the risk of exposure. Delivering dental care through teledentistry can help optimize re-opening while keeping patients and providers safe.
- Triage and assess patients’ concerns through teledentistry messaging and video consults (now commonly billable).
- To minimize patient interaction in the waiting room, communicate when you are ready for the appointment through secure teledentistry messaging. (Patients could wait in their cars.)
- Provide post-op visits through teledentistry (now commonly billable) to save in-office time for higher production.
- More effectively screen patients who may be symptomatic through teledentistry use of live video or messaging.
State Mandates and Recommendations
The ADA urged dental providers to follow their state and local governments decisions on re-opening. Click on the map below for interactive state updates and recommendations regarding dental care: