On July 15, 2021 the ADA released its Update to Office Procedures During COVID-19
, which provides the latest information dentists need for conducting COVID-19 workplace hazard assessments and making practice decisions.
The update covers issues such as having a safety plan for COVID-19 exposure and control, best practices for assessing and managing workplace hazards and pre-appointment screenings for patients.
Download the ADA "Update to Office Procedures During COVID-19"
On June 10, 2021, 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 ADA.org/virus (member’s only content) to access the fact sheet.
Download the Fact Sheet
Updated July 13, 2021: CDC has made an edit to the December 4, 2020, version of the COVID-19 Guidance for Dental Settings, as well as the Considerations for School Sealant Programs During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. Previously, the guidance stated that dental healthcare personnel should avoid aerosol-generating procedures for all patients, regardless of known or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection status. This language, which encompassed all patients regardless of level of risk, has been removed.
Please note: dental healthcare personnel should continue to avoid aerosol-generating procedures for patients with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, if possible.