While certain localities have issued stay at home advisories, dental care is still essential

For Immediate Release
Nov. 19, 2020

In addition to the statewide curfew recently announced by Governor Mike DeWine restricting activity between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., certain Ohio localities, including Franklin County (Columbus), Montgomery County (Dayton) and Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), recently issued stay at home advisories. These stay at home advisories generally advise residents not to leave home except for going to school or work and for “essential needs” such as seeking health care services, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, and picking up food.

These advisories should not stop patients from going to their dentist since dental services are essential health care services. Good oral health care keeps patients out of pain and prevents infections and dental disease. Oral health is also essential to overall health as undiagnosed and untreated dental disease has been associated with a number of systemic health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and pregnancy complications.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio’s dentists are following additional guidelines and recommendations from the Ohio State Dental Board, the American Dental Association and CDC, all designed to ensure patient safety.

As with other businesses, many dental offices have implemented additional protocols. For example, when you arrive at the dental office, you may have your temperature taken and be asked a series of questions related to your health. You may be asked to wait in your car until the dentist is ready for you. Waiting rooms may be less crowded and have fewer chairs or more space between the chairs. You may notice your dentist and staff wearing a different type of face mask or face shield when providing care. All of these changes and more are designed to ensure dental patients are protected.

ODA President Dr. David Kimberly, an Akron-area oral surgeon, states “dentists have been using PPE, including masks and gloves, for decades, and we follow strict infection control and sterilization procedures for the office, equipment and hand pieces. We know how to keep our patients safe from infections and viruses.”

Regularly seeing your dentists and taking good care of your oral health is always important, even during a pandemic.

The Ohio Dental Association represents more than 5,000 member dentists, nearly 70 percent of the state’s licensed dentists. ODA member dentists provide more than $40 million in donated care and services annually, and they are bound by the highest ethical standards and have access to superior ongoing education, training and resources.


Contact: David Owsiany, ODA executive director
Phone: (614) 486-2700
Email: david@oda.org