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Coronavirus guidelines to protect Virginia dental employees, patients updated

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Dental Association announced more changes to coronavirus guidelines dental offices have to follow.

VDA worked with the CDC, OSHA, Virginia Department of Health and other organizations to make this update. The original guidelines came out weeks ago when dental offices reopened.

The guide has four priorities when it comes to treating patients during the pandemic:

  • Minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Optimizing the oral health of Virginians.
  • Reducing the number of dental emergencies present at emergency departments.
  • Supporting dental offices while safely resuming activities.

“The changes that we made are a little more specific to kind of protecting our employees, hazard assessments that kind of thing, donning and doffing personal protective equipment but a lot of the changes that were instrumental initially still remain,” said Dr. Elizabeth Reynolds located in Richmond, president of Virginia Dental Association.

Dr. Reynolds also wants to remind dental offices to be aware of the local number of coronavirus cases and how that may impact services.

With these updates, patients can expect upcoming dentist visits to look a little different.

Dr. Reynolds says this is a fluid time so the more they learn about what is and isn’t working, the more the dental association needs to adjust.

According to Dr. Reynolds, since aerosols are a way coronavirus is transmitted and because some dental employees work in your mouth, they are more at risk. That’s why they are vigilant about guidelines, to make sure patients and dental offices know they are safe to continue services.

“You are absolutely safe in your dental office when you get in you can see what I wear I have a cap, gowns, I have my face shield, we’re all wearing N95 (masks). You can expect your appointment to be a little different we will pre-screen you then they will screen you when you arrive,” said Dr. Reynolds.

For additional information on the Virginia Dental Association and how it is approaching this pandemic, click here.


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