CDC Guidance for Providing Dental Care During COVID-19

Updated: April 8, 2020

In order to protect staff and preserve personal protective equipment and patient care supplies, as well as expand available hospital capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that dental facilities postpone elective procedures, surgeries, and non-urgent dental visits, and prioritize urgent and emergency visits and procedures now and for the coming several weeks. This aligns with recommendations from the American Dental Associationexternal icon (ADA) and the American Dental Hygienists’ Associationexternal icon (ADHA) to postpone non-emergency and elective dental procedures, as well the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)’s guidancepdf iconexternal icon that all non-essential dental exams and procedures be postponed until further notice.

For emergency clinical care of patients with known or suspected COVID-19, dental providers should follow the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response as well as the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) or Persons Under Investigation for COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings. If a dental facility is not able to follow this interim guidance, dental personnel and medical providers should work together to determine an appropriate facility for treatment. The urgency and need for a procedure are decisions based on clinical judgement and should be made on a case-by-case basis.

This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will continue to update this guidance as more information becomes available.

CDC urges providers to be familiar with the information on CDC’s COVID-19 website. Specific information is available for Healthcare Professionals, including a Healthcare Professional Preparedness Checklist, instructions on Evaluating and Reporting Persons Under Investigation (PUI), Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure Guidance, and What Healthcare Personnel Should Know. Dental healthcare personnel can also consider signing up for communications from CDC’s Health Alert Network, which is CDC’s primary method of sharing information about urgent public health incidents with healthcare providers.