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

The College has amended its Guidance for Ontario dentists to manage infection risks during in-person care during the COVID-19 crisis:

The guidance in this document reflects the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Directive #2¸ released on May 26, 2020. In addition, this COVID-19 office checklist will assist dentists in preparing their offices and understanding how to safely provide in-person care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dentists in Ontario are currently permitted to provide in-person care for all deferred, non-essential, and elective services, in addition to emergency and urgent care. 

Dentists providing in-person care must review the College's guidance as well as the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Operational Requirements: Health Sector Restart document.

The College reminds dentists that the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s directives may change at any time; College guidance will be amended as needed.


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, including the risks of a second wave of COVID-19.
  8. The College will prioritize the use of teledentistry to assess risk and appropriately triage patient needs.