Department of Health Reverses Prohibition on Dental Care – All Phases of Care Allowed

Routine cleanings and elective procedures may resume

Shad Lewis, DMD
West Lawn, PA – June 03, 2020

In an unexpected policy release today from the PA Dept. of Health (DOH), Gov. Wolf and Sec. R. Levine reversed their prohibition on non-urgent and elective dental care effective since March 19.

Before today’s guidance, dentists were not expecting to resume this type of care until Berks County entered their green phase of reopening.

The DOH still recommends things to help us reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as other germs:

  • Telephone screening for symptoms of COVID-19 before appointments.
  • Limiting the number of visitors.
  • Use of face coverings on anyone entering the office.
  • Temperature checks on arrival.
  • Delaying treatment in the presence of fever (100.4 >).
  • Dentists to monitor community spread of COVID-19 and adjust accordingly.

Dentist and Hygienist Personal Protective Equipment

The Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is not currently prioritizing dental practices for PPE distribution.

We still need the right stuff – it is up to us to have the proper equipment to treat you. And we have it.

We divide dental treatment into two categories: those that produce an aerosol, and those that do not.

Examples of aerosol treatment include the water spray instrument (Cavitron) used during your cleaning or the dental drill used to smooth and polish your new white filling.

During aerosol treatment, you will notice some changes. We have different masks that look different than what you are used to seeing. Full face shield use.

Moving forward

The germ theory of disease is an accepted model that says microscopic things, those we can’t see, make us sick.

And if we keep this front-and-center in our minds, all of us will do well:

  • Keep your hands clean.
  • Sneeze into your elbow.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.

And, of course, my obligatory things:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day.
  • Floss your teeth each time before brushing.
  • Watch the sugar.
  • See your dentist every six months.

See you soon!