In Clinical Leadership & Infection Control Gabrielle Masson 

CDA: Roadmap for dentists returning post-pandemic

As parts of the U.S. move to gradually reopen, the California Dental Association outlined how dentists will resume patient care and what changes will be needed to provide such care.

CDA President Richard Nagy, DDS, and California State Dental Director Jay Kumar, DDS, established a work group consisting of dental practitioners, academics and researchers to develop the recommendations below.

The two most vital components are the wide availability of testing and sufficient personal protective equipment, neither of which currently exists for dentists. Until they do, it is recommended that all patient care is performed in a highly restricted environment.

For dentists to start providing elective care in California, the following milestones must be achieved:

Near term:
Dental personnel must have:

  • Access to appropriate PPE to protect against potentially infectious aerosols
  • Options for eliminating, reducing or containing aerosol production during care
  • Access to training on COVID-19-specific protocols

Dental personnel must have:

  • Access to results of any COVID-19 and antibody testing in community
  • Rapid point-of-care COVID-19 testing that can be administered in the dental office

Long term:
Dental personnel must have:

  • Proof of patient vaccination or positive antibody test
  • No community transmission detected

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