Arkansas dentists say state reopening guidelines are 'ill-conceived,' have caused harm

Orders allowing Arkansas dentists to resume elective procedures are "ill-conceived" and "sow confusion and disorder," according to a letter from the Arkansas State Dental Association, KATV News reports.

The letter, sent to Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson from an attorney representing the Arkansas State Dental Association, criticizes guidelines issued May 11 by the Arkansas Department of Health. The guidelines allow elective dental procedures to resume if certain criteria are met, such as the use of face masks and other personal protective equipment, reducing patient volume, screening patients, and completing paperwork electronically.

The May 11 guidelines reference both state and federal practices, leaving dentists at risk of unintentionally violating rules or being subject to differing interpretations, according to the letter.

"Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith recommended and issued a directive allowing the resumption of elective dentistry," the letter reads. "While we applaud the spirit behind Secretary Smith's efforts, the manner in which the state bureaucracy has implemented these efforts has been an unmitigated disaster — one that has already led to needless confusion, frustration, and harm."

More articles on dental:
Some Florida dentists adding COVID-19 surcharges
Michigan dentists urge governor to resume routine care, cite potential public health crisis
Dental visits may start to resemble hospital visits

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