Doctor, How Does COVID-19 Affect Dental Care?

Hi All,

Needless to say we are all concerned with current events concerning COVID-19 and this is an update to advise you how it impacts on dental care in general and specifically our policy here at Lower Plenty Dental.

All registered dental practices are regulated by the Dental Board of Australia which is part of Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (APHRA) and we follow their regulations and guidelines.  

APHRA follow Australian Government Ministerial directives and they collaborate with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Our dentists are also members of The Australian Dental Association and a summary of the ADA’s latest advice (18/03/2020) to all members follows:

“Dear Members:

Over the last 24 hours, we’ve seen mixed messages from international dental regulators and associations about the potential disruption of dental services, deferral of all non-essential treatment and forced closures.

Last night, we called a meeting with ADA Branch Presidents and CEOs from every state and territory. The following was taken into consideration: 

The environments in the UK and US, while sharing some similarities, are not identical to the one in Australia. 

It’s vital that information and resources are prepared with consideration of the Australian context. 

We have some of the most rigorous infection prevention and control standards in the world. 

The Federal Health Minister’s office has confirmed that essential health services including dental will continue to operate as normal. There is no current advice or mandate from the Federal Government, AHPRA, or the Dental Board that suggests dental services should be limited or ceased.  

For now, provided you’re keeping across the advice available on the ADA website (www.ada.org.au/COVID-19) and from the Department of Health, you can continue to practice to our usual high standards.”

“Dentists are advised to delay elective treatment of any patient who is actively infected, suspected of infection, has been in contact with an infected person or who is serving a self-isolation period. 

People who are unwell with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (The most common symptoms reported include: fever, breathing difficulties such as breathlessness, cough, sore throat, fatigue or tiredness) should immediately be given a surgical mask to put on and directed to return home and contact the Australian Government Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 or the Healthdirect Hotline on 1800 022 222.”

Lower Plenty Dental summary:

  • we practise using universal precautions in the treatment room where we assume every patient is potentially contagious
  • all clinical staff wear PPE to protect both operator and patient and all equipment is sterilised, discarded or disinfected after use
  • social distancing is advised in our waiting area – 1.5 metre separation between individuals and all surfaces are disinfected regularly 
  • toys and magazines (please bring your own reading matter) have been removed and iPads are disinfected between each use 
  • if your waiting time is greater than 15 minutes you may be advised to wait in your vehicle until the treatment room is available
  • hand sanitiser is available upon entering and exiting the clinic and after touching EFTPOS terminals, door knobs etc.   

Stay safe and don’t touch your face (unless you have just washed or sanitised your hands).

Tony Di Salvo

Lower Plenty Dental

www.lpdental.com.au

+613 9435 6017

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