URGENT Message to all Alberta dentists from Dr. R. Croutze, Registrar & CEO of the ADA&C – COVID-19
Effective immediately there is a mandatory suspension of all non-emergency dental treatment and services.
Dentists may continue to provide emergency treatment as outlined in this message. At a minimum you must provide telephone access to address patients’ continuity of care.
Emergency dental treatment may include treatment of oral-facial trauma, significant infection, prolonged bleeding or pain which cannot be managed by over-the-counter medications. It is appropriate to provide needed care that if left untreated becomes a more significant burden on our health care resources and significantly compromises patient health.
Pre-screening of patients by phone is strongly recommended. If a patient presents unannounced at the dental practice, please refer to AHS screening directions. Further dental specific pre-screening directions are being developed.
Dentists who are providing emergency care must perform a thorough pre-treatment risk assessment that includes risk to the patient, to the oral health care provider and to the greater community before any treatment is undertaken. Dentists in Alberta have a duty to prevent exposure to an infection from COVID-19. If risks are identified that cannot be immediately or succinctly mitigated, the determined care must be postponed or referred to an appropriate provider. ADA&C is in the process of developing a list of facilities capable of accepting symptomatic patients. More information will be provided to dentists about the list.
Care provided must be compliant with existing ADA&C Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Standards and guidance or the treatment must cease. Capacity to provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all oral healthcare providers must be assessed before treatment can be initiated.
Further resources under development are:
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause respiratory illness in people, ranging from mild common colds to severe illnesses. Novel coronaviruses are new strains of the virus that have not been previously identified in humans.