Details on OSDB reopening guidelines
As dentists work to reopen their offices, I remind them that we are all required to follow the Ohio State Dental Board’s Guidelines.
The OSDB’s statement – issued on April 28, 2020 is reproduced below.
“As per the Governor’s announcement on April 27, 2020, dental offices are permitted to open on May 1, 2020 to provide dental services. The Ohio State Dental Board urges dental healthcare providers to exercise the utmost caution and to adhere strictly to infection control protocols and PPE guidelines as outlined in the ADA Toolkit and CDC. The guidelines listed below are to be followed in their entirety by dental offices in addition to the governor’s protocols for responsible restart of all businesses. Please refer to the web links below the guidelines.
GUIDELINES FOR PROVIDNG DENTAL CARE DURING THE CURRENT COVID-19 PANDEMIC
- Pre-screen every patient for COVID-19 risk factors using a comprehensive questionnaire until accurate testing is available.
- Reduce the number of in-person appointments by utilizing telephone triage and other remote strategies to address specific patient concerns.
- Stagger patient appointments to minimize patient-to-patient contact. To facilitate adequate distancing, it is strongly recommended to limit one patient per dental care provider. Observing these guidelines will regulate the number of patients within an office/clinic at any given time.
- Social distancing will be observed in the dental offices and waiting areas. To help adequate distancing, it is strongly recommended to limit one patient per dental care provider. Observing these guidelines, will regulate the total number of patients seen in a day and the number of patients within an office/clinic at any given time.
- Schedule patients ensuring that sufficient time is allocated for appropriate disinfection between patients as recommended in the ADA toolkit.
- Patients should come alone for appointments (except where necessary for interpreters, guardians of minors, and others needing assistance).
- Record body temperatures for every patient when they arrive for their appointment.
- Patients reporting or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms are to be advised to contact their primary care physician immediately and placed in quarantine as appropriate.
- Dentists should secure COVID-19 test reports where available for patients and staff.
- All staff members should have their temperatures taken upon arriving at work and a record maintained at the dental office.
- Staff members who report or exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms should self-quarantine and contact their primary care physician immediately and follow their advice. If found to be positive, the dental office should follow the Ohio Department of Health protocol.
- All dental personnel shall use appropriate PPE as dictated by the procedure performed, consistent with guidelines from the CDC and the American Dental Association, including masks, face shields, fluid-resistant gowns and hair cover if applicable.
- Dental providers should use high volume evacuators and isolation strategies including rubber dams when appropriate to limit exposure to aerosols.
- It is recommended that patients use a pre-procedure mouth rinse immediately before beginning a procedure
- All surfaces must be disinfected between patients in accordance with the ADA guidelines.
- Special care should be taken for patients with higher risk (pre-existing comorbidities) or immunocompromised individuals.
- Dentists are encouraged to work with local public health agencies regarding necessary screening and reporting requirements.
These guidelines will continue to be updated as needed.”
In order to assist dentists in reopening their offices to provide the full range of dental services in a safe, effective and compliant manner, the ODA hosted a free live continuing education webinar for its members on April 30, entitled “What’s Next: Practicing Dentistry After COVID-19” featuring Ohio State University College of Dentistry Professor Dr. Purnima Kumar and Ohio State Dental Board President Dr. Kumar Subramanian.
We are now making that webinar available on our website. Unfortunately, we cannot offer CE for those watching the archived version since it is not interactive.
Sharon K. Parsons, DDS
Ohio Dental Association