Royal College of
Dental Surgeons of Ontario
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COVID-19 Update: Message from RCDSO President

Dear Colleagues,

I just wanted to take a moment and touch base with you. I hope you and your families are staying healthy. I am sadly aware that dentists are not immune to COVID-19 and that a number of our members have been directly affected. Please take good care of yourselves.

The pace of activities at the College has not slowed in the past six weeks. With some hints that Ontario may begin to loosen restrictions in the near future, we can anticipate that things will be speeding up! To be clear - the College has not been notified by the Medical Officer of Health about a specific return-to-work date for the health care sector. As soon as we get more definitive information we will pass it along.

We’ve heard concerns from a few folks about what the future will hold for our profession. There are still many unanswered questions as the science around COVID-19 continues to be developed. I know that all dentists need clear post-COVID guidance; I only wish it were in my power to provide at this moment.

However, I can assure you that the College is working hard on plans for when the current State of Emergency ends and we are allowed to return to providing non-urgent care. We anticipate a staged approach that will mirror the requirements to be determined by the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Government of Ontario. Certainly there will be no significant loosening of the current restriction before the middle of May and we have reason to believe that several more weeks will follow before there is much change.

We continue to raise with the Ministry and others the importance of creating a reliable PPE supply chain for dentistry as soon as possible. This week I wrote directly to the Chief Medical Officer of Health, alerting him to the dire shortages of PPE for dentists. We are discussing this issue with our ODA colleagues too.

Meanwhile no decisions have yet been made concerning minimum requirements for PPE supplies, modifications to office design or the need for additional equipment. We do NOT recommend that you make any major purchase or renovation until an evaluation of requirements has been completed by the College.

As with all our work, the College will continue to advocate in the public’s interest in all matters regarding dentistry.

While things seemed very bleak a month ago, my sense is that we are moving forward. As always, I am grateful for your dedication and your patience.

With best wishes,

Dr. Flavio Turchet
President, Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario