COVID-19 Update: Revised Guidance

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the RCDSO has focused on ensuring that the public receives safe and appropriate care and that dentists and their staff are able to practice safely.

Since the late spring, the course of the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted:
  • vaccination coverage is high;
  • many public health indicators are trending downwards;
  • Ontario’s CMOH Directives and mask mandates have been lifted; and
  • many health regulators have begun moving away from COVID-19 specific guidance and back to standard IPAC measures.
Against these indicators, the RCDSO, in partnership with Ontario’s three other oral health regulatory Colleges (representing dental hygienists, dental technologists, and denturists), is updating our COVID-19 guidance for in-person care.

The College has revised overall guidance as a first step. A review of fallow times and closed operatories has been launched as a second step.

The guidance has been shortened and streamlined and maintained only provisions most essential to patient safety.

Key changes include:
  • Dentist must assess all patients/visitors to determine risk of COVID-19
  • Only suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients/visitors required to wear a level 1 mask
  • Staff screening no longer required

Fallow times/Closed operatories

The RCDSO’s key requirements for aerosol-mitigation, including fallow time and enclosed operatories, have been retained. In early May, the oral health colleges were advised by a panel of infectious disease specialists to retain current requirements. However, given recent changes to the pandemic pattern and developments in other provinces, the oral health partnership will consult an expanded panel of subject matter experts with the aim of releasing updated, clarified, and simplified guidance. Consultation participants include an expanded panel of subject matter experts, including greater representation from the oral health professions as well as Ontario’s faculties of dentistry

The consultation on fallow times and enclosed operatories launched on June 27th. The consultation period will close on July 8th.

Staff will analyze the feedback received and will consider revisions related to fallow times and enclosed operatories. We will update the professions in August.

Please find the
updated COVID-19 guidance here and refer to our revised COVID-19 FAQs for further clarification.