Update to CDC Infection Control Guidance for Dental Settings.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has modified a key guidance document, "Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic". The latest version has been revised to reflect the most up-to-date knowledge on infection control practices related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, setting-specific considerations, including unique issues related the dental setting, have returned to the infection control document. Click here to read the recently updated "Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic". Dentists are still encouraged to look to their state dental boards and state or local health departments for local information related to the pandemic . (October 4, 2022)

OSAP COVID-19 Toolkit. The Organization for Safety Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) offers this comprehensive and easy to navigate compilation of resources that includes recommendations and best practices for dental providers practicing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to view.

Common COVID-19 Citations: Helping Employers Better Protect Workers and Comply with OSHA Regulations. Keep up with workforce regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic with this user-friendly document from OSHA. This resource helpfully identifies common unsafe and costly practices and what you can do about them. Click here to view.

OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for Healthcare Settings. On June 10, 2021 OSHA announced a new standard to protect frontline healthcare workers from COVID-19. The cautious rules were created for those workers with the highest risk of contracting the virus – those treating and caring for people with suspected or confirmed coronavirus. According to the American Dental Association, while dental practices in ambulatory settings are exempt from the ETS, there are several situations that it can be applied to: hospital-based oral surgery practices and dentists caring for COVID-19 patients. To remain exempt, dental practices must continue to screen patients before entry to the facility and limit access to the facility to people who do not have confirmed coronavirus nor are suspected to have coronavirus. 

The key points from the American Dental Association’s (ADA) factsheet on the new ETS, OSHA COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard include the following: 

  • Dentistry is exempt from the ETS in most cases
  • Pre-screening prior to appointments is still required 
  • Patients, visitors and staff must be screened prior to entry and those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not permitted to enter
  • A written COVID-19 plan should be completed by all dental practices according to OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs
  • This standard may be superseded by another at the state or local level and may include dental offices

Click here to view COVID-19 Healthcare ETS - Frequently Asked Questions. To refer to the standard (updated December 27,2021), click here.

OSHA COVID-19 Guidance on Returning to Work. Page 15 of this pivotal return to work guide discusses aerosol-generating procedures and N-95 masks to help prevent exposures and other central topics related to safety while reopening business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read.

Anesthesiology Guidance on Infection Control During the COVID-19 Pandemic. This report from the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists offers recommendations on infection control for dentist anesthesiologists practicing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find tips on screening patients and escorts prior to treatment, protection of dental health care personnel, PPE for aerosol-generating procedures, and environmental infection control.  

CDC Checklist for Healthcare Facilities: Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators during COVID-19 Response. This checklist may help dentists make decisions on their use of N95 respirators when the supply is low during public emergency. Click here to view the checklist.

EPA COVID-19 Resources. The Environmental Protection Agency provides guidance on the use of disinfectants, indoor air quality and use of water during the coronavirus outbreak. Click here to view.