coronavirus

Most Dental Work Can Begin Again in Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf and state health officials removed the prohibition on 'non-urgent, non-emergent' dental procedures, as of May 7, his office said Friday.

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Most types of dental procedures can begin again in Pennsylvania after the state lifted a ban Friday, officials said. They have been banned since Gov. Tom Wolf issued the state's business closure regulations on March 16 as the coronavirus pandemic emerged.

The new guidance approved Wolf allows for dental work, but notes that dentists "should apply their clinical judgment along with their knowledge of the incidences of COVID-19 cases in their area, the needs of their patients and staff, and the availability of necessary supplies to assess whether to re-engage."

However, the guidance added that "procedures that create a visible spray that contain large particle droplets of water should not be performed because they are considered aerosol-generating."

All dental providers should follow guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“We want to make sure that dental practices are operating in a way that protects everyone working in the dental office, patients, and community,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine. “If a practice does not have the proper personal protective equipment to perform procedures, then they simply cannot operate. However, we also realize that we do not want to create additional public health needs after the pandemic related to dental issues. By taking appropriate precautions, dentists across Pennsylvania can provide necessary public health treatments in a safe and effective way.”

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