News and Announcements
Topic: Licensure & Examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic
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As per the Governor’s announcement on April 27, 2020, dental offices are permitted to open on May 1, 2020 to provide dental services. The Ohio State Dental Board urges dental healthcare providers to exercise the utmost caution and to adhere strictly to infection control protocols and PPE guidelines as outlined in the ADA Toolkit and CDC. The guidelines listed below are to be followed in their entirety by dental offices in addition to the governor’s protocols for responsible restart of all businesses. Please refer to the web links below the guidelines.
GUIDELINES FOR PROVIDNG DENTAL CARE DURING THE CURRENT COVID-19 PANDEMIC
- Pre-screen every patient for COVID-19 risk factors using a comprehensive questionnaire until accurate testing is available.
- Reduce the number of in-person appointments by utilizing telephone triage and other remote strategies to address specific patient concerns.
- Stagger patient appointments to minimize patient-to-patient contact. To facilitate adequate distancing, it is strongly recommended to limit one patient per dental care provider. Observing these guidelines will regulate the number of patients within an office/clinic at any given time.
- Social distancing will be observed in the dental offices and waiting areas. To help adequate distancing, it is strongly recommended to limit one patient per dental care provider. Observing these guidelines, will regulate the total number of patients seen in a day and the number of patients within an office/clinic at any given time.
- Schedule patients ensuring that sufficient time is allocated for appropriate disinfection between patients as recommended in the ADA toolkit.
- Patients should come alone for appointments (except where necessary for interpreters, guardians of minors, and others needing assistance).
- Record body temperatures for every patient when they arrive for their appointment.
- Patients reporting or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms are to be advised to contact their primary care physician immediately and placed in quarantine as appropriate.
- Dentists should secure COVID-19 test reports where available for patients and staff.
- All staff members should have their temperatures taken upon arriving at work and a record maintained at the dental office.
- Staff members who report or exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms should self-quarantine and contact their primary care physician immediately and follow their advice. If found to be positive, the dental office should follow the Ohio Department of Health protocol.
- All dental personnel shall use appropriate PPE as dictated by the procedure performed, consistent with guidelines from the CDC and the American Dental Association, including masks, face shields, fluid-resistant gowns and hair cover if applicable.
- Dental providers should use high volume evacuators and isolation strategies including rubber dams when appropriate to limit exposure to aerosols.
- It is recommended that patients use a pre-procedure mouth rinse immediately before beginning a procedure
- All surfaces must be disinfected between patients in accordance with the ADA guidelines.
- Special care should be taken for patients with higher risk (pre-existing comorbidities) or immunocompromised individuals.
- Dentists are encouraged to work with local public health agencies regarding necessary screening and reporting requirements.
- These guidelines will continue to be updated as needed.
Please be advised that a date for the re-opening of dental offices for normal business consisting of non-essential dental procedures has NOT been set yet. We will post an announcement as soon as a date is set. In the meantime, continue to follow the Ohio Department of Health’s Order which permits treating emergency procedures only. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding. If you have any questions, please contact the Board at (614) 466-2580 or Dental.Board@den.ohio.gov.
Ohio State Dental Board COVID-19 Advisory 2020-02, March 18, 2020
We are all aware of the coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the nation and the world today. The Ohio Department of Health issued an order on the "Management of Non-essential Surgeries and Procedures" throughout Ohio (see web link below).
Based on this order, the OSDB stresses the importance for all dental practitioners to defer all non-essential & elective procedures with immediate effect. Only patients that need emergency dental services should be seen and treated. The order seeks to preserve the availability of PPEs at this critical period and to prevent inadvertent spread of the coronavirus. Dentists should also remember that they are highly vulnerable to the coronavirus due to the aerosol created from dental procedures. We strongly advise all dentists and dental office personnel to practice utmost caution and be prudent in their selection of emergency cases that need care.
Thank you for your anticipated and expected cooperation.
The State Dental Board has been closely monitoring the spread of the coronavirus. As Dentists, Hygienists & staff we are a part of the healthcare community and have a responsibility in the prevention and mitigation efforts of the administration during this outbreak. Dentists are also in of the highest risk categories for both transmission and contraction of the Coronavirus as a majority of the procedures we perform creates significant aerosols in the operatories. As a part of the healthcare community and the community at large, we have to protect the safety of our patients and staff. The OSDB is closely monitoring the situation and decided to have these recommendations to the practicing dentists. This is a very difficult decision, but it comes at a critical time and it is our responsibility to take leadership in this situation and have protocols in place to reduce the spread and impact of Coronavirus amongst the communities we practice and live. The plan & recommendations will change as the situation demands and evolves.
These recommendations to the dental profession are intended to reduce the risk of patients’ exposure to COVID-19 and to preserve PPE and supplies, while still allowing access to necessary and emergency dental services that will maintain the oral health of the citizens of Ohio and keep them out of the hospital ER.
Governor Mike DeWine contacted the Board and the Ohio Dental Association and asked for our help in addressing the spread of COVID-19. As integral parts of the medical community, we are being called to review our inventories and appointment books, and make the adjustments to provide mutual aid and relief to our partners in the medical and surgical communities.
Governor DeWine has requested the following:
A review of inventories and identification of any surplus personal protective equipment and supplies. Once identified, contact your local Emergency Management Agency about sharing these goods with local hospitals and medical clinics for COVID-19 patients and clinicians. EMA contact list can be found here: https://webeoctraining.dps.ohio.gov/ohiocountyEMADirectorList/countyemalist_web.aspx
Please reschedule elective procedures including but not limited to:
- Any cosmetic or aesthetic procedures, such as veneers, teeth bleaching, or cosmetic bonding
- All routine hygiene appointments
- Any orthodontic procedures not including those that relieve pain and infection or restore oral function or are trauma-related
- Initiation of any crowns, bridges, or dentures that do not address or prevent pain or restore normal oral functioning
- Any periodontal plastic surgery
- Extraction of asymptomatic non-carious teeth
- Recall visits for periodontally healthy patients
- Delay all appointments for high risk patients, including ASA 2 and 3 patients, unless it is an emergency
By sharing supplies we are directly supporting our fellow clinicians as they undertake the greatest viral threat in modern history. By rescheduling elective procedures we are doing our part to prevent community spread.
We urge you to undertake the two above strategies and consider the following additional measures:
o Use cell phone triage - use the cell phone to take a picture of the area and text to the dentist
o Have a detailed questionnaire/conversation before scheduling appointments and prior to any procedure about flu like symptoms, travel abroad for self and family/friends/co-workers etc. to permit a thorough
evaluation of the patient
o Consider taking the temperature of the patient at the outset
o Reconsider scheduling high risk patients unless they need emergency treatment
o Careful evaluation of the need for scheduling of ASA 2 & 3 patients
o Use of 1% hydrogen peroxide rinse prior to examination of the oral cavity by the patient to reduce microbial load
o Use of rubber dam isolation & high volume suction to limit aerosol in treatment procedures
o Proper disinfection protocol between patients with a possible repeat of the protocol for a 2nd time.
To prevent over-crowding of waiting areas or the possible spread of infection
§ Consider having patients wait in their cars instead of the waiting areas to prevent inadvertent spread of the virus (call patient when surgical area is ready for treatment)
§ Consider staggering appointment times to reduce waiting room exposure
§ Consider rescheduling elective procedures on ASA 2 & 3 patients (https://www.asahq.org/standards-and-guidelines/asa-physical-status-classification-system)
§ Have front desk staff take measures to prevent exposure
§ Have sterilization staff, lab technicians and auxiliary staff take adequate measures to prevent exposure
§ Limit access to waiting room use to only patients. Accompanying individuals have to wait in their respective transportation.
§ Remove all magazines/toys etc from waiting area to prevent contamination.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we manage through these very difficult and unprecedented times.
Thank you for your elevated vigilance and due diligence in ensuring that Ohioans are receiving dental services in a safe manner in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Out of an abundance of caution, dentists are requested to postpone elective surgery for their patients if it will not put the patient's health in danger. This will help with the following:
1. Maintain safe distances in ambulatory clinical/hospital settings.
2. Prevent the risk of inadvertent transmission of the virus.
3. Preserve inventory of supplies for critical cases.
4. Preserve hospital capacity for critical cases.
If you have any questions, please call the Ohio Department of Health's hotline at (833) 4-ASK ODH or (833) 427-5634. Additionally, please go to www.coronavirus.ohio.gov for updates.
Please be advised that Governor DeWine has declared a state of emergency with regards to COVID-19 in Ohio. For the most current and up to date information, please refer to the Ohio Department of Health’s portal at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/ for guidance. If you have questions on coronavirus then you may call the Ohio Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline at 1 (833) 4ASKODH or 1 (833) 427-5634. For all routine questions, please contact the Dental Board at (614) 466-2580 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code section 5101.63, a dentist licensed to practice dentistry in the State of Ohio, who has reasonable cause to believe that an adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited, or is in a condition that is the result of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, shall immediately report such belief to the respective county department of jobs and family services.
The Dental Board, as an entity that employs, licenses, or regulates individuals listed as mandatory reporters is tasked with ensuring that Ohio dentists have access to the training materials developed by the ODJFS. The guide for medical professionals is available free of charge in hard copy format through the Jobs and Family Services Forms Central website at (https://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms) using the following form number or electronically by clicking the links below:
JFS 08097 – Understanding Elder Abuse: A Guide for Medical Professionals
The link to the Jobs and Family Services Forms Central website is also available on the Board’s website (https://www.dental.ohio.gov/) under the Announcements section. If you have any questions about the training materials, please contact the Board by emailing email@example.com.
The Board recently amended OAC rule 4715-8-01(B) to require dentists and dental hygienists to obtain a minimum of two (2) hours of continuing education pertaining to the prescribing of opioids for acute, subacute, and chronic pain. This requirement applies to the 2020-2021 and 2022-2023 biennium. Licensees should ensure they meet this continuing education requirement during each biennium. You may view OAC rule 4715-8-01(B) here: http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/4715-8 and if you would like more information regarding other continuing education requirements, please visit the “Education & Renewal” tab of our website here: https://www.dental.ohio.gov/Education-Renewal/Continuing-Education
This is a friendly reminder that dentists and dental hygienists are to renew their licenses between October 2, 2019 and December 31, 2019 by using the State of Ohio’s eLicense system. An email reminder was sent to email of record for dentists and dental hygienists.
Also, for clarification, the Dentist Loan Repayment Program and the Dental Hygienist Loan Repayment Program have been in place for many years and are administered by the Ohio Department of Health while the funds have been collected by the Dental Board as a part of the license application and renewal process. Please refer to the links below to the O.R.C. and O.A.C. for further information.
Dentists Loan Repayment Program administered by Ohio Department of Health
Ohio Revised Code 3702.85, Effective 10/29/2003
Rules (Ohio Administrative Code)
Dental Hygienists Loan Repayment Program administered by Ohio Department of Health
Ohio Revised Code 3702.96, Effective 3/23/2015
Rules (Ohio Administrative Code)