ADA “Respectfully Yet Strongly Disagrees” With WHO Guidance Recommending Dental Care Be Delayed

by Billy Tarpley on August 13, 2020

The ADA News (8/12, Versaci) reports that in a statement released Aug. 12, the ADA said it “respectfully yet strongly disagrees” with the World Health Organization’s interim guidance recommending “routine” dental care be delayed in certain situations due to COVID-19. “Oral health is integral to overall health. Dentistry is essential health care,” ADA President Chad P. Gehani said. “Dentistry is essential health care because of its role in evaluating, diagnosing, preventing or treating oral diseases, which can affect systemic health.” When COVID-19 cases began to rise in the US in March, “the ADA called for dentists to postpone all but urgent and emergency care in order to understand the disease and consider its effect on dental patients, dental professionals and the greater community, Dr. Gehani said.” The ADA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention then issued interim guidance to provide dental professionals with the information they need to provide care while minimizing the risk of transmitting COVID-19. “Millions of patients have safely visited their dentists in the past few months for the full range of dental services,” Dr. Gehani said. “With appropriate PPE, dental care should continue to be delivered during global pandemics or other disaster situations.”

        During a July 27 video call, the ADA Board of Trustees adopted an ad interim policy stating dentistry is essential health care, and the House of Delegates will consider the policy as a resolution during its meeting in October.         For more information about the ADA’s advocacy efforts during COVID-19, visit ADA.org/COVID19Advocacy.

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