News Details

Dental practices ‘largely exempt’ from OSHA rule

Dental offices largely exempt from new emergency temporary standard.

Last week, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an Emergency Temporary Standard to protect health care workers from COVID-19. The ADA has since reviewed the document and determined that dental practices are mostly exempt from OSHA's new emergency temporary standard to protect health care workers from COVID-19. Those most likely to be affected by the new standard include hospital-based oral surgery practices and dentists who provide care for COVID-19 patients.

If an office is covered under the emergency temporary standard, it is mandated to do so. If an office is exempt, it still should do a hazard assessment and written plan as recommended in OSHA's Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs.

In order for dental offices to be exempt, dental practices need to continue to conduct workplace-specific hazard assessments for COVID-19 and continue pre-appointment patient screenings to identify individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, rescheduling their appointments if possible or referring them as necessary.

To help dentists understand the OSHA emergency temporary standard, the ADA has created a fact sheet that includes some key points to help walk dentists through the process. Visit (member’s only content) to access the fact sheet.