Governor Expands Limits on Dental Procedures

Governor Expands Limits on Dental Procedures

April 17, 2020

Governor Eric Holcomb extended the state’s Stay at Home order until May 1. Please note this is separate from the public health emergency, which has no end date.


April 6, 2020

Citing continued spread of the COVID-19 virus in the state despite containment efforts, Governor Eric Holcomb issued an additional Executive Order placing further restrictions on medical and dental procedures that require the use of personal protection equipment (PPE).

“It appears the Governor’s intent is for dentists to postpone treatment whenever possible, provided the delay doesn’t compromise the patient’s health or leave the patient in pain,” said IDA President Dr. Steve Ellinwood.

“To preserve PPE for health care providers who are battling the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning April 1, 2020, and extending to April 20, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., all health care providers, whether medical, dental or other … are directed to cancel or postpone elective and non-urgent surgical or invasive procedures. An ‘elective and non-urgent’ procedure, for the purpose of this Executive Order, includes any surgery or invasive procedure which can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of the patient as determined by the patient’s treating physician, dentist or health care provider. The order remains in effect for the duration of this public health emergency.”

The order does not apply to procedures that would not in any way utilize PPE, with the exemption of gloves. Like the previous order issued on March 23, the directive allows providers to use professional judgment in determining what procedures can be delayed without undue risk to the patient. However, its intent is clearly to postpone as many procedures as possible that require the use of PPE, thereby impacting most dental procedures.

The order addresses a number of additional issues, including expanding the availability of medical personnel by easing the licensing requirements for retired medical professionals, medical professionals from other states, and new medical professional graduates. A complete copy of the Executive Order may be found on the Indiana state government website.

Click here to view a PDF of the ADA’s fact sheet on what constitutes a dental emergency.

Click here to view FAQs on Indiana’s Stay at Home Order

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