Summary of CDC COVID-19 Guidance for Dental Services

Updated July 13, 2021

CDC has made an edit to the Dec. 4, 2020, version of the COVID-19 Guidance for Dental Settings as well as the Considerations for School Sealant Programs During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. Previously, the guidance stated that dental healthcare personnel should avoid aerosol-generating procedures for all patients, regardless of known or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection status. This language, which encompassed all patients regardless of level of risk, has been removed. This change was made to align this guidance for dental settings with current CDC Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.

Please note: dental healthcare personnel should continue to avoid aerosol-generating procedures for patients with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, if possible. More information on recommendations for these patients is available in the Guidance for Dental Settings. Dental health care personnel should continue to practice universal precautions for all patients, even those with no symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

As a reminder, dental healthcare personnel are licensed by their state regulatory body and should practice according to their state dental practice acts or other relevant regulations.

CDC continually assesses emerging scientific evidence for developing policies, guidelines, and recommendations. CDC will continue to update this guidance as additional information becomes available. You can find the most up-to-date information about infection prevention and control practices on CDC’s COVID-19 page.