The 2020 Pandemic March Update from the American Dental Assn.
March 30, 2020. The following is the most recent Update from the Alabama Board of Dental Examiners (My Boss) in response to the March 27th Directive by Governor Kay Ivey concerning our role as dentists in this Coronavirus Worldwide Pandemic. While it's certainly prudent to be aware and take all the precautions you can, please realize that we - as part of your dental team, as friends, family, and colleagues - understand that what President Roosevelt said on December 8, 1941 (right after Pearl Harbor) is as true today as it was then: "The only thing to fear is Fear itself." Don't be afraid. Be Prudent.
We're currently (as of March 30th) open only Monday and Wednesday (and possibly on Friday) on an "ON-CALL" basis, as dictated by the attached legal order to close our doors for "elective" dental procedures. We are closed all other times.
Any emergency procedures performed during this unprecedented crisis will also incur a charge for "After Hours" visitation and for an "emergency" visit.
We ask that any family member accompanying you to your dental office visit to please stay in your vehicle while you are having treatment and not congregate in our waiting room (parents of minors are of course exempt from this request so long as you practice social distancing).
We'll see you when you get better!
Posted to dentists on March 30, 2020:
From the Alabama Board of Dental Examiners (my Boss):
Covid - 19 Message from Dr McIlwain, President of the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama <> Sun 3/29/2020 7:54 PM
To: All Alabama Dentists and Hygienists
From: Mark R. McIlwain, DMD, MD, President, Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama
Subject: Clarification of Governor of Alabama and Alabama Department of Public Health March 27 Order
Dear (Alabama Dental) Licensee:
First, the March 27 order, posted on our website at www.dentalboard.org, is a public health order that is mandatory and enforceable by law.
Second, the Order at provision 7.a. clearly states that all elective dentistry is to stop. Emergency procedures to alleviate severe pain, dangerous swelling, or infection with the potential to necessitate hospital care are allowed. It is up to the judgement of the licensed professional which cases require emergency treatment. Clear, recorded justification of a patient’s necessity for care and subsequent care is required. Dentistry’s ability to keep patients out of the hospital during this pandemic requires good judgment and conscientious care. The use and preservation of proper personal protective equipment is in the patient’s and staff’s best interest.
Third, the Order’s provision 7.b. is not an instruction to continue with an ongoing elective dental or orthodontic treatment plan. 7.b. refers to a plan of treatment such as a cancer diagnosis, placing a port for IV access, or ongoing chemotherapy. It is referring to a treatment plan that if delayed will create a threat to the patient’s health and life.
(Fourth), Dentistry does not need to be a vector for the spread of Covid-19. We have limited PPE and must proceed accordingly. The CDC and OSHA have labeled the aerosol created with the intra-oral use of a dental hand piece very high risk. The
very nature of the practice of dentistry makes it virtually impossible to practice while complying with social distancing. As the risk/benefit ratio of various dental encounters and procedures evolves over the course of this pandemic, the Dental Board will advocate for the return of those privileges.
Each member of the Dental Board is in the same situation as every other practitioner, with the inability to see patients and lost income, and we are diligently seeking solutions.
At our next meeting, the Dental Board will consider modifications to current CE requirements in the light of the many cancellations of in-person CE made necessary by social distancing. We ask that during this crisis you act in such a way as to be part of the solution and not add to the problem.
Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama | 2229 Rocky Ridge Rd., Birmingham, AL 35216
Your well-being is important to your dentist and dental staff. That’s why infection control procedures are in place at your dental office.
What about the new coronavirus?
With so many news stories, it’s understandable to be concerned about the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Please know that the precautions your dentist already takes every day to prevent the spread of infection in his or her practice also helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you are ill with flu-like symptoms, you should reschedule your appointment.
If you or someone you are in close contact with have recently traveled to one of the countries or states with large outbreaks of COVID-19 (New York, Louisiana, Seattle, New Jersey, Florida, China, Italy, Iran, South Korea) or if you have been exposed to someone else who was diagnosed with COVID-19 or who was quarantined as a precaution, wait 14 days until you see your dentist to make sure you have not caught the coronavirus.
If you are healthy, there’s no need to cancel your regularly scheduled dental appointment, subject to government emergency regulations or public health mandates.
It’s important to know that the majority of people infected with the coronavirus experience flu-like symptoms and then recover. Most people do not develop serious respiratory complications.
Those most at risk of becoming seriously ill are elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease, among others.
Children, thus far, have been largely unaffected.
Here are a few things you can do on your own to help keep yourself and those around you healthy:
Wash your hands frequently, or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent ethyl alcohol.
Avoid touching your face, eyes or nose to reduce the spread of germs.
Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow. Infections like the coronavirus spread through the tiny droplets in coughs and sneezes.
Stay home if you feel sick. If you have flu-like symptoms or otherwise feel unwell, stay home and rest. Call your dentist to reschedule your appointment for a later date. This will reduce the risk of spreading your illness.
Need more information? Click this link to Visit the CDC’s website for the latest information on COVID-19.