Office Procedures During COVID-19

CDC Guidance for Dental Settings

Updated September 10, 2021: CDC has updated its infection control guidance for all healthcare settings, including dental offices:

Summary of recent changes:

  • Updated source control recommendations to address limited situations for healthcare facilities in counties with low to moderate community transmission where select fully vaccinated individuals could choose not to wear source control. However, in general, the safest practice is for everyone in a healthcare setting to wear source control.
  • Updated quarantine recommendations for fully vaccinated patients who have had close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection to more closely align with recommendations for the community.
  • Clarified the recommended intervals for testing asymptomatic HCP with a higher-risk exposure and patients with close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  • Added content from previously posted CDC guidance addressing:
    • Recommendations for fully vaccinated HCP, patients, and visitors
    • SARS-CoV-2 testing
    • Duration of Transmission-Based Precautions for patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection
    • Specialized healthcare settings (e.g., dental, dialysis, EMS)

Please note: Dental healthcare personnel (DHCP) should refer to this guidance, which includes a section specific to dental settings (doc), for infection control considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of September 10, 2021, the Guidelines for Dental Settings will display a web banner noting that the page will no longer be updated, and webpage visitors will be redirected to the Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19).

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. 

CDC still requires offices to:

Screen everyone entering the dental healthcare facility for fever and symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or exposure to others with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

  • Document absence of symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
  • Actively take their temperature. Fever is either measured temperature ≥100.0°F or subjective fever.
  • Ask them if they have been advised to self-quarantine because of exposure to someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Properly manage anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been advised to self-quarantine:

As we have been advising, dental offices should continue to implement COVID infection control protocols and follow the latest CDC’s guidance outlined in in the Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination and Guidance for Dental Settings.

Check out Dr. Mimi DeLessio-Matta, CSDA President, latest video! She answers your questions about the CDC Mask Guidelines and what it means for Dental Offices. 

CDC Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. Included is: 

  • Updated information for fully vaccinated people given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant currently circulating in the United States.
  • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.

Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People 

CDC Guidance for Dental Settings:

The CSDA will continue to monitor the latest updates from the CDC, DPH and other regulatory agencies as we help our members stay on top of these issues.

CDC COVID-19 PPE and Screening FAQ

Download ADA Fact Sheet

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 (member’s only content) to access the fact sheet.

Download the Fact Sheet

Connecticut Department of Public Health

The Department of Public Health released guidance to provide a better understand of the State’s recently modified mask and face covering policies that are now in effect. 

Learn More