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New guidance for reopening dental offices around the state to more than emergency services

ISDS has worked closely with our state government leaders to make a compelling case for reopening your offices to additional dental procedures.

Dear ISDS Members,

We are excited to announce ISDS has successfully worked with Governor Pritzker’s Administration and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to begin reopening dental offices around the state to more than emergency services.  New guidance was released by IDPH this evening at 5:24PM (Friday, May 8, 2020).

Starting Monday, May 11, IDPH recommends “oral health providers resume provision of routine oral and dental care consistent with this guidance for minimizing risk of transmission of COVID-19 in an oral healthcare setting.”

ISDS has worked closely with our state government leaders to make a compelling case for reopening your offices to additional dental procedures, as long as this new guidance is taken into consideration when making practice decisions.  As you know, patients are likely foregoing dental care now, which may cause their oral health to deteriorate.

Our efforts, in that regard, are reflected in this new IDPH guidance. “…there is a need for a plan to resume safe and routine oral and dental treatment.  As continued delay in the delivery of time-sensitive, disease treating, oral and dental care may result in the over-reliance on antibiotics and analgesics to manage oral health pathologies, patient complications, poorer prognoses, as well as the need for more complex and costly corrective oral and dental care.”

We are all still very mindful of the transmission risks of this disease. IDPH recommends: “Oral health providers should continue to counsel their patients and communities on the primary prevention of oral disease to lessen the progression of pathologies.  To yield good procedural outcomes, oral health providers should consider their patient’s healthcare needs, assess the risks and benefits of any procedures, and appropriately screen patients for COVID-19.”

IDPH provides more detailed guidance and recommendations as you reopen and begin providing routine patient care.  Please take time to review this this attached guidance. We recommend you download, review, and comply with the American Dental Association’s Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit as well.

As anticipated, this new interim guidance does “…supersede all previous communications on this matter”, which includes specifically “Additional Guidance for Preventing Spread of COVID-19 for the Oral Health Community and Dental Practices Vol.3 [subject to change] – Mandated Closure to Routine Dental Care," which caused much confusion when released.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact ISDS staff. We are here to support you during these times.

***ISDS received written confirmation from IDPH following original release that 1.e. under “Current Guidance” should read as “100F”.  The original guidance released via the SIREN notification system indicated “1000 F”.  IDPH will be correcting this error soon***

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