We recognize that change resulting from COVID-19 is happening in real-time. Dental practices all over Canada and the US are being affected by the pandemic. In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, majority of governments and dental regulatory bodies have made announcements that have closed dental offices or significantly limited their operational hours and staff. This is in the best interest for the public, as social distancing will aid in flattening the curve and limiting the spread of the virus.
How is COVID-19 affecting dental practices?
The RCDSO, the regulatory body for Ontario dentists, made an announcement strongly recommending that “all non-essential and elective dental services should be suspended immediately. Emergency treatment should continue.” Additionally, they stated that “many health care providers in community settings have not been able to secure a reasonable supply of PPE that would be required to actively treat COVID-19 cases.”
The American Dental Association subsequently made an announcement to all US dentists stating that “in order for dentistry to do its part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the ADA recommends dentists nationwide postpone elective procedures for the next three weeks.”
What should you do as a dentist?
Given how rapidly the COVID-19 situation is evolving, practicing dentists are encouraged to first and foremost consult the regulatory body in their province, territory or state, as well as their respective dental associations to obtain guidance and recommendations.
At this time of uncertainty, making decisions to protect your staff, your business, and the community, it is strongly suggested that dentists should seek advice of counsel and consult with an employment lawyer.
Many government bodies have announced measures to assist eligible employers and employees during this challenging time. Here are the key things Canadian dentists and US dentists need to know right now.