Urgent Message: Governor's Mandate In Effect Starting Today

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Minnesota Board of Dentistry

Urgent Message: Governor's Mandate In Effect Today

Dear Licensees,

First and foremost, I would like to thank every licensee that has reached out to the Board for guidance, clarification, and desire to do what needs to be done to lessen the curve of coronavirus infection, protect patients, protect dental professionals, support our front line medical and nursing colleagues, and lessen the burden on the healthcare system. We have had many individuals wanting to donate PPE’s and be helpers in this situation. So, THANK YOU!

We have already received multiple complaints on providers regarding communications or telling patients that they are “open for business like normal”. I would like to remind everyone that as of 5pm today, the mandatory order related to all non-essential or elective surgeries and procedures, including non-emergent or elective dental care, that utilize PPE or ventilators must be postponed indefinitely will go into effect. Examples of criteria to consider in making this determination include: Threat to the patient’s life if surgery or procedure is not performed or threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system, including teeth and jaws. We have also provided previous guidance on the determination of dental emergency. We expect that providers will delay any non- emergent treatment needs at this time.

We have had some providers and allied dental professionals with concerns about providing any emergency care to patients. Dentists and allied dental professionals are part of the healthcare team. However, this concern is heard and understood. Providers have a duty to provide the emergency care or provide an alternative to patients. If you cannot or will not treat emergencies, you should consider connecting with another provider in your area so you would have somewhere to refer your patients in case of emergency. Some providers themselves may fall into the category of higher risk for illness and could work with a colleague to determine what can be done for their emergency patients. Dentists would need to arrange this and confirm with their colleague. Dentists need to communicate this to their patients if this becomes the case. Do not refer them to the ER if they are an otherwise healthy patient. As I mentioned before, dentists could also consider practicing together for the time being and setting up their site to best screen and treat emergencies in person only if needed. More resources to come on dental providers that can assist with any dental emergencies. Like I said before, we need to continue to band together. If you suspect a patient to have COVID-19, delay care at all cost unless you believe it to be life threatening. In that case, you should consult their physician to determine a course of action.

Please use our previous recommendations when treating emergencies. The information can be found on our website. Wear a procedural mask. Use face shield if you have it available. As far as homemade cloth masks, I urge you to seek more information from the CDC Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators: Crisis/Alternate Strategies: Administrative Controls.

“Healthcare provider use of non-NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) approved masks or homemade masks In settings where N95 respirators are so limited that routinely practiced standards of care for wearing N95 respirators, and surgical masks are not available, as a last resort, it may be necessary for them to use masks that have never been evaluated or approved by NIOSH or homemade masks. However, caution should be exercised when considering this option.”

OSAP and ADA also have Q & A from a recent webinar they hosted on some of the pressing infection control questions: Coronavirus Webinar. You do not have to log in as a member to access the Q & A videos.

If you have interest in assisting with the broader healthcare effort here are more resources:

  • Volunteer offers (people): https://mnresponds.org/

  • Offers of products, medical equipment, venues (from businesses, schools & universities, medical facilities) make sure to forward the offer or direct folks to: ppp@state.mn.us

In a collaborative effort, the Minnesota Board of Dentistry, along with the Minnesota Dental Association and other stakeholders have come together to work together to address the multi-faceted considerations for dentistry and patients alike. We will offer guidance, disseminate information, brainstorm ideas to mitigate current risk, work on a plan for full return to practice and to reconnect all patients with non-emergent and elective dental care. The Minnesota Dental Association will issue a press release to further guide patients that are seeking care.

As always please reach out to me with questions. bridgett.anderson@state.mn.us. I appreciate all the support we have received from the community and I also can appreciate the frustrations. Pandemic response moves so quickly and it can be overwhelming. I hear all of you and we are in this together. I feel that this collaborative effort will also continue to knock down silos between dentistry and the medical system.



Bridgett Anderson LDA, MBA

Executive Director