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ADA 'respectfully yet strongly disagrees' with WHO guidance recommending delay of dental care

The American Dental Association released a statement Aug. 12 stating it "respectfully yet strongly disagrees" with the World Health Organization's interim guidance recommending that "routine" dental care be delayed in certain situations because of COVID-19."Oral health is integral to overall health.

Dentistry is essential health care," ADA President Chad P. Gehani said. "Dentistry is essential health care because of its role in evaluating, diagnosing, preventing or treating oral diseases, which can affect systemic health."The ADA Board of Trustees adopted an ad interim policy stating dentistry is essential health care during a video call July 27, and the House of Delegates will consider it as a resolution during its virtual meeting in October.

As U.S. COVID-19 cases began to rise in March, the ADA called for dentists to postpone all but urgent and emergency care in order to understand the disease and consider its effect on dental patients, dental professionals and the greater community, Dr. Gehani said.

Both the ADA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention then issued interim guidance for dental professionals related to COVID-19, calling for the use of the highest level of personal protective equipment available, such as masks, goggles and face shields.

To minimize aerosols, the ADA guidance also recommended dental professionals use rubber dams and high-velocity suction whenever possible and hand scaling instead of ultrasonic scaling when cleaning teeth.

"Millions of patients have safely visited their dentists in the past few months for the full range of dental services," Dr. Gehani said. "With appropriate PPE, dental care should continue to be delivered during global pandemics or other disaster situations."

(08/13/2020)
by Mary Beth Versaci

More Information: https://mybestdentists.com/in-the-news/AmericanDentalAssociation

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