Update May 24, 2020

 

ROUTINE DENTAL CLEANINGS AND VISITS STILL NOT RECOMMENDED

PA Sec. of Health says not until county in green

West Lawn – May 24, valid until Jun 05
Shad Lewis, DMD

On May 21, PA Sec. of Health, during a press conference, was asked to clarify what dentists can and cannot do.

“Acceptable activities in yellow and red zones include acute, urgent issues… What we’re not recommending is the routine cleanings that take place at dental offices – routine examinations where you have your visit every six months. That, in the red and yellow zones, is not recommended. That would be for the green zones.” See https://pacast.com/m?p=18036 at the 15:50 mark.

Berks County remains in red until Jun 05, and then we move to yellow. There is yet no indication when we are going to green.

The PA Dept. of Health continually refers to CDC guidelines, which still advise dentists are to avoid aerosol-generating procedures, dental drills, and air/water syringe use. Further, personal protective protocols are more involved during this pandemic.

Conversely, the department of health makes it clear they are not prioritizing dentists for personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency are directing manufacturers to first supply those treating COVID-19 patients.

Dental supply companies are backordered of needed PPE for dentists. Our supplies are short.

Emergency and Urgent Issues

The CDC recommends telephone-triaging patients in need of care, using teledentistry options as alternatives to in-office care.

They say to use minimally invasive procedures, using hand instruments only – this is a temporary treatment. Dentists can not fix teeth without a drill.

Be Involved

Whether you agree, or disagree, with how your leaders are handling these events, now is the time, more than ever, to be in contact with your state senators and representatives. Call them. Write to them. Engage them on social media. They need to know how you are – for better or for worse.

Please follow for updates at sldmd.com

References

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/dental-settings.html

Corrections

Changed date moving to yellow from Jun 06 to Jun 05.

Update May 20, 2020

This message is dated May 20 and remains valid until May 28.

We are preparing for a phased opening but I cannot provide dates for details.

I am available by appointment for certain things. And, they are extremely specific.

The American Dental Association published interim guidance during this pandemic for dental care based on recommendations from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and prevention, and scientific literature.

On May 19, the Pennsylvania Sec. of health was asked about salons, barbers, and massage therapists being able to open responsibly. “It is impossible to provide those services and practice social distancing.” Further, “these involve hands-on treatment as part of those services, so thus, we are not allowing them in the red and yellow zones.” See https://pacast.com/m?p=18029 at the 10:45 mark.

Although routine dental care was not mentioned, I feel they are considering it alongside hair salons, which is unfortunate because we routinely wear protective equipment.

Our governor has no idea when any counties will enter his green phase.

Whether you agree or disagree with how these events are being handled, you need to be in contact with your state senators and representatives. Call them. Write to them. Engage them on social media (1). Let them know how you’re doing-they need to know for better or for worse.

SL

 

(1) https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/