The Illinois Department of Public Health has allowed dental providers to resume routine oral and dental care beginning this week.
IDPH says to yield good procedural outcomes, oral health providers should consider their patient’s health care needs, assess the risks and benefits of any procedures, and appropriately screen patients for COVID-19. Patients will need to be symptom free and have their temperature taken. Dentists will need to address their use of masks, face guards, and suction devices.
Dentists gave up their PPE in the early days of the pandemic for hospitals, first responders and nursing homes. Now they have difficulty getting what they need to resume dental care.
“Patients have been waiting to get back to their dentists and, even though now we have the green light from the IDPH, we are in need of PPE to meet their guidelines,” said Dave Marsh, director of Governmental Affairs with the Illinois State Dental Society. “Of course, we recognize the highest priorities for PPE in health care settings, but we will be seeking a higher priority for masks and face shields for our profession.”
Various elected leaders weighed in on the update.
“Allowing dentists to carry on with routine oral and dental care shows that we are progressing,” said state Sen. Christopher Belt, D-Centreville. “Of course, dentist offices will still have to follow IDPH’s guidelines, but will be able to provide necessary oral hygiene care while minimizing risk to patients and healthcare personnel.”
More details from IDPH are here.