by Jeff Kahl, D.D.S.
President, Colorado Dental Association
As the information and science around COVID-19 continues to evolve, the CDA has maintained an ongoing dialogue with the American Dental Association (ADA), Colorado governor’s office and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). We want to ensure that we are making the best decisions with the information and science available in a well-coordinated manor with other health agencies. After assessing the available information here in Colorado and in coordination with the ADA we are issuing the following guidance.
The CDA and ADA recommend that all dentists close their offices for three weeks to patients seeking elective and non-urgent care. During that time dentists should provide only emergency dental care and medically necessary care. This will allow us to care for our most critical patients, while also alleviating the burden that emergency dental care would put on hospitals.
This rapidly changing situation has come with an overload of information and misinformation. We thank you for your patience during these past few days as the agencies of authority have sifted through this information to make the correct recommendations to protect our profession and our patients.
During this time the CDA will continue its ongoing dialogue with health officials. We recommend that you take this time to make sure that your practice has appropriate COVID-19 screening protocols in place and that your infection control and OSHA practices are up to date. We also recommend that offices consider implementing a virtual waiting room in their practices to better maintain social distancing.
The CDA does not take this decision lightly, and it is being done out of an abundance of caution during one of the most disruptive public health emergencies in modern history. As healthcare providers, we all have a role to play by following evidence-based public health advice to help slow the spread of the virus and “flatten the curve.”
We believe that by taking these precautions dentists can make a difference in helping preserve the limited supply of personal protective equipment critical for emergency dental care and frontline healthcare personnel responding to the pandemic. We recognize the gravity of these extreme measures and are sensitive to the economic impact that it will have. Rest assured that the CDA will advocate on behalf of all oral health providers in Colorado for economic relief packages.
We understand that you will have questions about what to do following this announcement. For the most up to date information and support, continue to follow CDA emails and cdaonline.org/covid19.