Dentists are encouraged to follow the ADA guidelines and determine the correct protocol for their office based on their professional judgement.
As you are aware, and we announced to our members on Friday, the CDC has released new guidance for dental settings as of June 17, 2020. These guidelines include a change: “The recommendation to wait 15 minutes after completion of clinical care and exit of each patient without suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to begin to clean and disinfect room surfaces has been removed to align with CDC Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings.” This will likely generate questions from our members along the lines of “Does this mean we can immediately clean a room after we dismiss a patient?”
The ADA has released a response to this recommendation that can be found here:
All of these guidelines properly leave the decisions up to the dentists’ professional judgement and the ADA article provides a link to doing a hazard assessment of their office to help dentists make that evaluation:
Dentists are encouraged to use this tool to evaluate what they do in their office to insure their safety, the safety of their dental team and their patients.
Members might also ask about this statement from the NYS Guidelines: “Responsible Parties must ensure that DHCP wait at least 15 minutes after completion of dental visit or procedure to allow potential contagious droplets to sufficiently fall from the air before beginning cleaning and disinfection of surfaces in the dental operatory per CDC Guidance on Generation and Behavior of Airborne Particles.”
Since that statement refers to the CDC guidelines which no longer mention a specific time period, dentists should be encouraged to follow the ADA guidelines and determine the correct protocol for their office based on their professional judgement.
These guidelines evolve daily as new knowledge becomes available about COVID-19 and NYSDA and the ADA will continue to monitor and report on any new material.