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DOH relases new guidelines for dental care

Routine teeth cleanings are back on the dental care menu in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has updated its guidelines for offering dental health care in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The updates lift restrictions on providing non-emergency and routine care, which means check-ups and teeth cleanings can start up once again with dentists across the state.

However, there are restrictions. Dental offices must have the necessary amount of personal protective equipment for staff, including dental hygienists. Patients should also be screened for COVID-19 and social distancing should be maintained. Patients will also have to wash their hands frequently. Patients will wear masks when not being treated. Dental healthcare workers should also follow the Centers for Disease Control’s list of protocols for offering care. Dental offices should also use tele-dentistry when possible to treat patients.

Dental services had been initially restricted because of the nature of the care, which could increase exposure risk to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 simply because it requires dentists to be close to patients who have their mouths open.

The spread of COVID-19 has been on the decline in recent weeks in Pennsylvania, however the state department of health encourages Pennsylvanians to stay vigilant and continue to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, cover coughs or sneezes with an elbow rather than a hand, wear a mask when out in public, clean high-touch surfaces frequently and stay home if they are feeling unwell.

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