Summary of CDC COVID-19 Guidance for Dental Services

Updated December 1, 2020

CDC has released Considerations for School Sealant Programs During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. School Sealant Programs (SSPs) are a highly effective way to provide preventive oral health services to children who are at greater risk for developing cavities and less likely to receive private dental care. Many SSPs have been suspended as communities respond to COVID-19.

These considerations are intended to aid oral health programs that conduct SSPs, dental healthcare personnel (DHCP) who provide direct oral health services, and school administrators as they prepare to implement SSPs during the COVID-19 pandemic while protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of students, teachers, staff, and DHCP.

Regardless of setting, dental healthcare facilities should continue to apply the updated Guidance for Dental Settings 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 for providing dental care. Dental settings should balance the need to provide necessary services while minimizing risk to patients and dental healthcare personnel. You can find the most up-to-date information about infection prevention and control practices on CDC’s COVID-19 page.

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

Ongoing education and training is critical for ensuring that dental health care personnel understand and adhere to infection prevention policies and procedures. With support from CDC’s Division of Oral Health, the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Preventionexternal icon (OSAP) is presenting a 4-part COVID-19 Webinar Seriesexternal icon providing infection prevention and control information in dental settings. These webinars will be recorded for future access. Each will be worth 1 CE hour (ADA CERP Credit), provided through OSAP. Webinar content is solely the responsibility of the speakers and does not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information on the webinar series, please visit OSAP’s COVID-19 Webinar Seriesexternal icon page.