COVID-19 Safety and Clinical Resources
Safety – both for patients and practice staff – is a top priority. Learn how to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission, protect practice and patient data from cybercrime scams and more.
Masks and Other Personal Protective Equipment
Interim Mask and Face Shield Guidelines
Help lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission when seeing patients by using the proper PPE.
Download mask guidelines
Understanding Mask Types
This chart highlights the differences between several common types of mask and their appropriate uses.
Download mask type chart
N95 Respirator Fit Tests and Seal Checks
Learn how to test the fit of your respirator and check the seal for optimal performance.
Download N95 fit and seal guide
Tips to Avoid Counterfeit Masks
This tip sheet will help identify illegitimate websites and sellers and counterfeit masks.
Know what to look for
Extend the Use of N95 Masks
Learn when and how to extend the use of N95 respirators while maintaining appropriate infection control.
Make PPE last
Webinar: Respiratory Protection in the Era of COVID-19
The Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP) recaps the CDC’s guidance on using N95 or equivalent respirators in dental settings.
Watch April 24 webinar
Guide to Putting On and Taking Off Respirators
Respirators play an important role in keeping you safe. Here’s how to properly put them on and take them off.
Download respirator guide
Donning and Doffing Instructions
Learn the correct sequence for donning and doffing gowns, masks, respirators, goggles, face shields and gloves.
Download PPE instructions
Dental Office Infection Control
NEW Summary: OSHA Guidance for Dentistry Workers and Employers
This summary breaks down OSHA’s COVID-19 guidance for dental settings, including PPE and evaluating risks.
Download OSHA Summary
NEW Q&A: OSHA Guidance for Dental Workplaces
This guidance answers common questions on hazard assessments, use of respiratory protection PPE and emergent vs. routine procedures.
Download OSHA Q&A
JADA Infection Control Resources
The Journal of the American Dental Association has compiled a collection of relevant articles on infection control and opened them to the public.
Read JADA articles
Hand Hygiene for the Dental Team
An overview of effective hand hygiene practices that help reduce the risk of infection transmission.
Read the hygiene guide
Availability of Personal Protective Equipment
On March 28, the CDC issued guidance that dental services should be limited to urgent and emergency visits only during this period of the pandemic. These actions help staff and patients stay safe, preserve personal protective equipment and patient care supplies, and expand available health system capacity.
The CDC has not changed its guidance on single-use disposable facemasks, which are regulated by FDA to be single use and should be worn once and discarded.
Page 41 of the CDC Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings has the following guidance:
- Wear a surgical mask and eye protection with solid side shields or a face shield to protect mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth during procedures likely to generate splashing or spattering of blood or other body fluids;
- Change masks between patients, or during patient treatment if the mask becomes wet.
CDC urges Dental Health Care Personnel (DHCP) concerned about healthcare supply for PPE to monitor Healthcare Supply of Personal Protective Equipment for updated guidance, and to be familiar with the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations.
If urgent dental treatment is necessary, DHCP and medical providers should work together to determine the appropriate precautions on a case-by-case basis to avoid the potential spread of diseases among patients, visitors, and staff. Because dental settings are not typically designed to carry out all of the Transmission-Based Precautions that are recommended for hospital and other ambulatory care settings, DHCP and medical providers will need to determine whether the facility is an appropriate setting for the necessary services for a potentially infectious patient.
Prevention of Suspected Respiratory Disease Transmission in the Dental Healthcare Setting
Patients with an acute respiratory illness may present for dental treatment at outpatient dental settings. The primary infection control goal is to prevent transmission of disease. CDC recommends a multi-step approach that begins before the patient arrives at the practice and includes guidance regarding their arrival and for the complete duration of the affected patient’s presence in the practice.
It may not be possible to know the cause of any patient’s illness so it is important to follow this guidance and standard precautions at all times.
Infection control issues during patient assessment:
Patients with an acute respiratory illness should be identified at check-in and placed in a single-patient room with the door kept closed.
- Offer a disposable surgical mask to persons who are coughing; and provide tissues and no-touch receptacles for used tissue disposal.
- Ill persons should wear a surgical mask when outside the patient room.
- Dental healthcare personnel assessing a patient with influenza-like or other respiratory illness should wear disposable surgical facemask*, non-sterile gloves, gown, and eye protection (e.g., goggles) to prevent exposure. Since recommendations may change as additional information becomes available it’s a good idea to check the CDC website for COVID-19 updates.
- Patient and dental healthcare workers should perform hand hygiene (e.g., hand washing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic handwash) after possible contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.
*Until additional specific information is available regarding the behavior of COVID-19, the guidance provided in the “Interim Guidance for the Use of Masks to Control Seasonal Influenza Virus Transmission” is recommended at this time. Also recommended is a review of Prevention Strategies for Seasonal Influenza in Healthcare Settings.