COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
As of May 1, 2020 Gov. Kate Brown allowed a lift on all non-urgent procedures in medical and dental offices. This means we are able to start seeing patients with limited hours and certain precautions taken. The OHA and ADA have put into place a framework for offices to follow during this re-opening process. Along with providing the guidelines used for our office operations, we also wanted to create this FAQ Coronavirus page to answer any questions you may have regarding dentistry during this time.
The Executive Order requires that dentists, along with other health care providers, cease all elective and non-urgent procedures, immediately and no later than March 23rd, through June 15th. Procedures are exempt if a three-month delay in the procedure or surgery would put the patient at risk of irreversible harm. The order also requires that dentists, along with other health care providers, identify any “surplus PPE” to the state by March 27th, and arrange for delivery of supplies.
Yes, the Governor can rescind this order at any time.
Procedures are exempt if a three-month delay in the procedure or surgery would put the patient at risk of irreversible harm. Irreversible harm includes, but is not limited to:
- Threat to the patient’s life
- Possibility of irreversible harm to the patient’s physical or mental health
- Threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system
- Risk of metastasis or progression of staging
- Risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms (time sensitive)
The American Dental Association has created a guide on what constitutes a dental emergency and urgent procedures. You can access the guide here.
What is my Dentist doing to prevent the spread of the virus?
Dental offices are required to have a surplus of PPE on hand, this means at least two weeks worth of supply during operating hours. Gloves, N95 Masks, Gowns, and Face covers are required during every procedure. At the Smile Institute we have hand sanitizer available for each patient that enters the office and pre-screen each one as well. We will ask questions related to COVID-19 interaction and symptoms along with a temperature and blood pressure check.
How are dental offices practicing social distancing?
To keep patients and staff safe, many offices are implanting a ‘virtual-waiting’ room where patients wait in their car until notified to enter the office. Many appointments are spaced out to allow time for proper sanitation and keep patients from interacting with one another. Front office administration will also keep a 6 foot distance when communicating with patients.