Royal College of
Dental Surgeons of Ontario
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COVID-19: Managing infection risks during in-person dental care

The RCDSO’s new guidance, COVID-19: Managing infection risks during in-person dental care, is now available on the College’s website.

The guidance was developed by the RCDSO based on the best available evidence and research, along with expert feedback. This includes information obtained through:

  • Daily calls with the Ontario Ministry of Health
  • Discussion with other dental regulators in Canada
  • A range of research articles, studies and other resources from Canada and around the world.
  • A targeted consultation with more than 30 contributors including specialists and experts in:
    • Infectious Disease
    • Hospital Dentistry
    • Public Health Ontario
    • Public Health Dentistry
    • OMFS
    • Dental Anesthesia
    • Periodontics
    • Royal Canadian Dental Corp
    • College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario
    • College of Dental Technologists of Ontario
    • College of Denturists of Ontario
    • RCDSO Council
    • Ministry of Health

The guidance document will assist dentists in preparing their offices and in understanding how to safely provide in-person care. It replaces the College’s Guidance on Emergency and Urgent Care.

Safety is prioritized. This approach has been proposed specifically due to Ontario’s experience and infection rates with COVID-19 and the risks that are unique to oral health care.

The document is consistent with direction from the Chief Medical Officer of Health in Ontario and government. The College will revise this document as direction shifts in the future.

Highlights include:

  • The Principles were developed in partnership with all Ontario oral health colleges, and associations.
  • In keeping with the most recent direction from government and the Chief Medical Officer of Health, dentists are permitted to provide essential care. Non-essential care must be provided through teledentistry only. Further detail on what is considered emergency, urgent, and non-essential care can be found here.
  • The section on Aerosol Generating Procedures outlines:
    • how dentists can reduce fallow (settle) time.
    • that dentists do not need to erect permanent walls, but rather temporary walls and a door may suffice to contain aerosols.