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ADA Says Dental Care Can Be Delivered Safely With Appropriate PPE, Others Agree, Including WHO

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WTVW-TV Evansville, IN (8/16) Evansville, IN (8/16) reports in continuing coverage the American Dental Association “says they ‘strongly disagree’ with” recent guidance from the World Health Organization saying people should put off their “routine” check-ups in places where COVID-19 is spreading.

KITV-TV Honolulu (8/16) Honolulu (8/16) reports the ADA is “saying that with the proper protective equipment, patients and professionals can safely operate.” Dr. Richard Nagy, President of the California Dental Association, is quoted saying, “Dentists have been experts in infection control for over 20 years due to the HIV AIDS scare. So we’re used to preparing our offices for infection disease control.”

The ADA News (8/12, Versaci) (8/12, Versaci) reported previously on the ADA’s statement responding to the WHO’s interim guidance. WHO Chief Dental Officer Benoit Varenne, Ph.D., also expressed concerns about media coverage of the interim guidance in an Aug. 13 email to global dental leaders. Dr. Varenne said, “Unfortunately, a number of media headlines intentionally or not – when they are referring to the WHO guidance, did not mention that the recommendation to delay routine oral health care is only suggested in an intense uncontrolled community transmission scenario. A scenario that [does] not fit with the current situation of [most countries] around the world.” Dr. Varenne added, “So please be aware of the missing information sometimes disseminated by the media that could increase fear and concern of patients seeking oral health care. I think we have all to play a part in sharing with the public, national dental associations and health authorities the full story provided in the guidance document.”

To access the ADA’s Return to Work Interim Guidance toolkit, which recommends measures to take to help protect patients, staff and dentists from COVID-19 as dental practices re-engage in providing the full range of oral health care, visit ADA.org/returntowork.

        Information for the public on what to expect as dental offices reopen may be found on ADA’s consumer website MouthHealthy.org, and The Journal of the American Dental Association has a “For the Patient” page, Protecting You During Your Dental Visit (8/18). And the Patient Return Resource Center offers exclusive resources for ADA members to support dentists in communicating with patients about returning to the dentist.

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