Dental care is health care, and that is reflected in the CDC’s latest COVID-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance for health care settings, updated Sept 10, 2021. A main goal behind the latest update is to streamline and group guidance for health care settings in one place.
The latest dental-specific guidance from the CDC includes:
- Continue to regularly check your state dental boards and state or local health departments for current information and recommendations and requirements specific to your area.
- Postpone all non-urgent dental treatment for patients with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and patients who meet criteria for quarantine until they complete quarantine.
- If a patient has a fever strongly associated with a dental diagnosis but no other symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are present, dental care can be provided following the practices recommended for routine health care during the pandemic.
- When performing aerosol-generating procedures on patients who are not suspected or confirmed to have SARS-CoV-2 infection, ensure that dental health care personnel correctly wear the recommended PPE and use mitigation methods, such as high evacuation suction, to minimize droplet spatter and aerosols.
- Provide dental treatment in individual patient rooms as much as possible.
- If possible, orient the patient’s head near the return air vents, away from pedestrian corridors, and toward the rear wall when using vestibule-type office layouts.
- Give yourself enough time between patients to clean and disinfect operatories when calculating your daily patient volume.
Visit the CDC’s latest infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance for health care settings for more information.