Royal College of
Dental Surgeons of Ontario
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COVID-19: Managing Infection Risks During In-Person Dental Care

Important: The Ministry of Health has now clarified the impact of Directive #2 for Health Care Providers. Read more on how this affects dentistry.

The RCDSO's guidance, COVID-19: Managing Infection Risks During In-Person Dental Care, requires dentists to undertake enhanced precautions when providing in-person care, consistent with requirements for dentists practising in public health regions designated “grey” or “lockdown”.

The College continues to monitor and update this guidance as necessary, including in response to additional guidance or announcements from the Provincial Government and changing rates of community transmission of COVID-19.

Principles

The following principles form the foundation for this guidance:

  1. Dentists have a professional, legal, and ethical responsibility to provide care in a manner that is both safe and effective.
  2. The health and safety of patients, the public, and practitioners is the top priority. All protocols for treatment and support will put safety first.
  3. The College’s guidance to dentists is informed by the direction provided by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Minister of Health, and others.
  4. Patients need continuity of care. Patients of record must have access to their dentist for guidance, support, and referral, where needed.
  5. Patient access to oral healthcare must be balanced with the risks of spreading COVID-19.
  6. Guidance is based on the best available evidence and data. In the absence of clear evidence, guidance will prioritize caution and safety.
  7. Return to practice will occur in well-defined stages that balance a return to the “new normal’ with the risks of spreading COVID-19.
  8. The College will prioritize the use of teledentistry to assess risk and appropriately triage patient needs.