How do I keep my team, my patients, and myself safe? This is the topic foremost on everyone’s mind and one we’re researching every day. We’re constantly evolving and building on these areas as interim guidelines are being released and updated, and new ideas or new clarifications are being brought to the table. To the right, you’ll find a variety of additional pages dedicated to helping you navigate the changes to infection control.
Individual state dental boards and health departments should be consulted for enforceable regulations.
Foundations: Building the Safest Dental Visit
The CDC’s Division of Oral Health has partnered with OSAP and released a new training resource, Foundations: Building the Safest Dental Visit ideal for offices in states who don’t have their own OSHA regulations. This online, self-paced training is designed to provide an overview of infection prevention and control principles for dental offices. The free training is available through CDC TRAIN. OSAP will provide 3 free ADA CERP CE credit hours for learners who complete the Foundations training.
Interim Infection Control Guidelines
The CDC has addressed key concepts around dental settings Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response.
Additional CDC Resources
Last Updated 4/27/21
The ADA released Update to Office Procedures During COVID-19 providing the latest information dentists need to conduct COVID-19 workplace hazard assessments and make informed practice decisions. The update explains what guidance has and has not changed from the ADA’s Interim Guidance Toolkit. Key points cover having a safety plan for COVID-19 exposure and control, best practices for assessing and managing workplace hazards – complete with a checklist, and more.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance on “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.”
*Please note, all products referenced are for use on surfaces, not people.
Contact tracing is a critical step in slowing the spread of COVID-19. As communities begin to reopen and social contact increases, so will the opportunities to transmit infection. Contact tracing is also a key requirement in many states, in order for them to reopen.
- Notifying contacts as soon as possible of the possible exposure
- Maintaining patient confidentiality by only informing the contact that he or she may have been exposed – never identifying the source patient
- Encouraging contacts to stay home and maintaining social distance (at least 6 feet) from others for at least 14 days from the last exposure incident
- Informing contacts they could spread the virus, even if they are not ill
Last Updated 2/25/21
Public Health authorities are asking dentists to assist in contact tracing. What can practices share and still comply with HIPAA regulations? In this PDF, the ADA addresses exactly that – Contract Tracing by Public Health Agencies and HIPPA Disclosures.
Last Updated 9/23/20
The safety of your team, patients, and yourself is at the forefront right now. Gowns, gloves, masks, and respirators – all the PPE items you need to convey the safety of your practice. With that concern comes the added costs of those now necessary PPE safety measures. Read more…
While designed to keep patients safe, do your new protocols change the patient’s perception of safety? In addition to implementing your new safety standards and infection control protocols, implement communication strategies to relieve anxiety and foster trust to deepen the patient-provider relationship. Read more…