CDC Releases Interim Reopening Guidance for Dental Settings

Updated June 18, 2020

CDC has updated the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response with guidance for resuming non-emergency dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic. These updates include expanded recommendations for provision of dental care to both patients with COVID-19 and patients without COVID-19, as well as new information regarding patient management; administrative, engineering, and work practice controls; sterilization and disinfection; and considerations for the use of test-based strategies to inform patient care. Dental health care personnel should apply the updated interim guidance as well as the guidance found in the Framework for Healthcare Systems Providing Non-COVID-19 Clinical Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic as they make determinations how and when to resume non-emergency dental care.

Dental settings should balance the need to provide necessary services while minimizing risk to patients and dental healthcare personnel. Dental health care personnel should stay informed and regularly consult with the state or local health department for region-specific information and recommendations, and should monitor trends in local case counts and deaths, especially for populations at higher risk for severe illness. As a reminder, dental health care personnel are licensed by their state regulatory body and should practice according to their state dental practice acts or other relevant regulations.

Interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the transmission and severity of COVID-19. You can find the most up-to-date information about infection prevention and control practices on CDC’s COVID-19 page. CDC will update this guidance as additional information becomes available.

On June 3, 2020, CDC hosted a Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) call to discuss how the updated guidance addresses the unique characteristics of dental settings warrant specific infection control considerations. The recording is available for viewing on the COCA Call webpage.

The COCA network provides timely, accurate, and credible information to clinicians and other healthcare professionals related to emergency preparedness and response and emerging public health threats.