21 Apr Dental Offices With Proper PPE May Reopen on April 27
Citing improvement in front line workers’ access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), on Monday, April 20, Governor Eric Holcomb announced a staged lifting of the ban on non-essential medical and dental procedures. Read the Executive Order.
The relaxation in restrictions will initially affect clinical and diagnostic procedures being conducted in hospitals, and then will likely expand next week to other medical and dental providers, pending a re-evaluation by the state.
While the re-opening for next Monday appears likely, it is subject to evaluation from the state and is contingent on a sufficient PPE supply: “If our supply inventory holds up as is it is now we will open up those elective procedures in other medical and clinical practices around the state of Indiana,” Holcomb said in his press conference yesterday. “You have this week to prepare for next Monday.”
“Yesterday’s executive orders means that dentists who are prepared with the proper PPE will probably be allowed to begin providing routine treatment beginning on Monday, April 27, ” said IDA President Dr. Steve Ellinwood. “This is welcome news to our members.” The governor’s announcement came two days after the ADA offered additional guidance to dentists in states that are allowing dental offices to reopen.
“In states that are considering reopening, the ADA believes dentists should exercise professional judgment and carefully consider the availability of appropriate PPE to minimize the risk of virus transition,” ADA President Dr. Chad P. Gehani said in a weekend announcement to members. IDA Vice President Dr. Steve Hollar, who also chairs the IDA’s COVID-19 Task Force, described the importance of dentists abiding by new inflection control guidelines. “It is important for dentists to brief themselves on enhanced infection control guidance issued by the ADA. In some cases, dentists will have to postpone providing routine care while they wait for PPE supply lines to be restored. Revised guidelines may be found on the CDC website.”
Dr. Hollar also encouraged dentists to be cautious of ‘gray market’ PPE supplies, primarily being offered through email and websites. “It is best to wait until you can receive PPE from your regular trusted dental supply company,” he said.
“We are reaching out to the governor and health commissioner asking for help in restoring dental supply lines for PPE,” said Dr. Ellinwood. “While we are pleased the new announcement, it is important that they understand we can’t work without the proper supplies and equipment.”