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:
- Dentists have a professional, legal, and ethical responsibility to provide care in a manner that is both safe and effective.
- The health and safety of patients, the public, and practitioners is the top priority. All protocols for treatment and support will put safety first.
- 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.
- Patients need continuity of care. Patients of record must have access to their dentist for guidance, support, and referral, where needed.
- Patient access to oral healthcare must be balanced with the risks of spreading COVID-19.
- Guidance is based on the best available evidence and data. In the absence of clear evidence, guidance will prioritize caution and safety.
- 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.
- The College will prioritize the use of teledentistry to assess risk and appropriately triage patient needs.