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ADA says dental care should continue during resurgence phase of pandemic

Association does not plan to recommend postponement period

As COVID-19 continues, the ADA is reminding dentists that dental care should continue during the resurgence phase of the pandemic.

In a Nov. 20 email to members, ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D., addressed a question that has been on the minds of dentists everywhere: would the ADA once again recommend that dental practices postpone all but urgent and emergency procedures as the Association did in March?

The answer, which is also addressed in a Nov. 17 ADA statement, is that the ADA “firmly believes” dental care can continue to be delivered safely.

“Dental care should continue during the pandemic because dentistry is essential health care,” Dr. Klemmedson said. “In March, we didn’t have then what we have now — specific guidance.”

The ADA president pointed to the ADA’s guidance from April and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance that followed in May as key factors in helping dentists and dental teams deliver care safely. Both resources call for the use of the highest level of personal protective equipment available, such as masks, goggles and face shields. The ADA also recommends screening patients for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure before dental appointments, using rubber dams and high velocity suction whenever possible, and hand scaling rather than ultrasonic scaling to minimize aerosols. 

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