Update on CDC Guidance on Dental Settings

  • by AGD Staff
  • Aug 10, 2020

On Aug. 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reissued its Guidance for Dental Settings.The guidance has been rearranged for clarity, includes updated definitions, and outlines steps to take to foster proactive communication and ensure safety. 

A summary of recent changes in the CDC guidance includes:

  • Rearranged format for improved clarity. 
  • Updated definition of fever to either measured temperature ≥100.0°F or subjective fever to align with CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • In areas with moderate to substantial community transmission, during patient encounters with patients not suspected of SARS-CoV-2 infection, CDC recommends that dental healthcare personnel (DHCP):
    • Wear eye protection in addition to their facemask to ensure the eyes, nose and mouth are all protected from exposure to respiratory secretions during patient care encounters, including those where splashes and sprays are not anticipated.
    • Use an N95 respirator or a respirator that offers an equivalent or higher level of protection during aerosol-generating procedures.
  • Additional language that protective eyewear (e.g., safety glasses, trauma glasses) with gaps between glasses and the face likely do not protect eyes from all splashes and sprays.
  • Additional guidance on physical distancing and how to respond to SARS-CoV-2 exposures among dental healthcare professionals and others.
    The AGD Dental Practice Council is currently reviewing the document and may communicate with federal authorities on areas of suggested improvements. 
Check out additional updates on COVID-19 at agd.org/coronavirus.