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The CDC recently updated its guidelines entitled Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. These guidelines were established earlier this year to help those working in Dental settings protect their colleagues and patients from infection. The article includes recommendations for routine care and for patients who have or may have COVID-19.

The changes to the guidelines include the following:

  • “Guidance has been rearranged for clarity.
  • Updated the definition of fever to either measured temperature ≥100.0°F or subjective fever to align with CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.
  • In areas with moderate to substantial community transmission, during patient encounters with patients not suspected of SARS-CoV-2 infection, CDC recommends that dental healthcare personnel (DHCP):
    • Wear eye protection in addition to their facemask to ensure the eyes, nose, and mouth are all protected from exposure to respiratory secretions during patient care encounters, including those where splashes and sprays are not anticipated.
    • Use an N95 respirator or a respirator that offers an equivalent or higher level of protection during aerosol generating procedures.
  • Added language that protective eyewear (e.g., safety glasses, trauma glasses) with gaps between glasses and the face likely do not protect eyes from all splashes and sprays.
  • Included additional guidance on physical distancing and how to respond to SARS-CoV-2 exposures among DHCP and others.”

If you work in or will be exposed to a Dental setting in the near future, please be sure to review the newest version of these guidelines.