Note from the Board of Dentistry - Additional Considerations for Phase Back to Practice

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Note from the Board of Dentistry 

The facility plan is a REQUIREMENT of the new Executive Order and per the Minnesota Department of Health. The Board of Dentistry is responsible for monitoring the plans. You do not have to send them in at this time, but the Board will be auditing and providing support and guidance as dentists need. The PPE is a REQUIREMENT depending on the procedures being performed. The Governor's announcement was not a GREEN LIGHT to open the flood gates. This is also not what our communication said yesterday. Prioritization of care is still REQUIRED as well and based on the needs in certain clinical situations. Many practices have been following Board and CDC guidance throughout this whole time and have implemented several additional policies and procedures while treating emergency care and planning for phasing back to providing non-emergent and elective care.

Some practices will be ready to resume earlier than others and will be based on individualized situations. PPE will continue to be an important consideration and as channels for purchase continue to become available, we will continue to share information and resources. We are also still working to get initial N95 masks to every dentist in the state.

Some practices are still choosing to treat emergencies only, even after May 11, since they are not quite ready and do not feel that they have what they need to implement the changes to resume more elective care. Either way, dentistry will resume full scope care as we can, just as other non-emergency and elective medical surgery and procedures will resume. This is the message that has been provided throughout the entire pandemic response time. Assess your practice individually. 

How many employees? What do they do for you? What is their risk level and what do you have to better protect them? What are you doing to mitigate patient risk? Use the plans you had in place for Bloodborne Pathogens considerations and Infection Control and improve them to address the virus considerations.

We provided a template for you to use to get your facility plan in place: 

Implementation Plan for Management and Treatment of Non-emergent and Elective Dental Care (Word Template)

This is required and dentists need to have a plan in place before resuming any elective care. This is mandatory per the most recent Executive Order and will be monitored by the Board of Dentistry. 

Hygienists, if you have not seen this yet this could be a helpful resource for you:

See Expanded Temporary Enforcement Guidance on Respiratory Protection Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces in All Industries During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic for more guidance on N95 and fit testing.

Many of the current considerations are already mentioned regarding PPE, but it could also provide some good tips and resources for hygiene care. 

We are here to help and answer questions, but you must have this plan in place and supported by your resource and engineering controls plan. If you have not already, get started on this and assess your practice setting.