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Posted on 03/17/2020

COVID-19 / 2020 Press Releases

Regarding COVID-19

 

ODA Responds to the World Health Organization Regarding Dentistry and COVID-19

OKLAHOMA CITY (August 13, 2020): The Oklahoma Dental Association echoes the American Dental Association’s statement strongly disagreeing with the World Health Organization’s recommendation on postponing dental care due to COVID-19. Dental care is an essential part of an individual’s overall health, and without a licensed medical dental professional overseeing routine care, an individual could experience additional health risks.

“The WHO’s recommendation comes with no conclusive evidence or supporting scientific data,” said Oklahoma Dental Association President Paul Mullasseril, DDS. “In fact, the report even states there is currently no data on the spread of the coronavirus from the dental chair. At this time there has not been a suspected case of COVID19 transmission from any dental office or procedure.”

Dr. Mullasseril added, “While visiting the dentist may look different at this time, experts say that’s no reason to miss your regular check-ups. Oral health is vital to overall health and many times people do not comprehend that teeth are attached to the body, to the bone and head, and that it is as important to take care of their teeth as the rest of their bodies. The dentist’s office is an extremely safe place to get the vital oral health treatment everyone needs.”

Health care professionals, dentists and dental team members have been and continue to follow the highest standards in sterilization and infectious disease prevention and mitigation set forth by the Center of Disease Control (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), and the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry. The American Dental Association (ADA) and the Oklahoma Dental Association (ODA) has been working with these federal and state organizations on the safety guidelines around COVID-19. These organizations have issued guidelines for dental settings and can be found on their websites:

• CDC Guidance
• OSHA Guidance 
• OSDH Guidance 
 ADA Guidance

Member dentists have procured the proper PPE to ensure the safety of their patients, staff, and anyone who enters the office while providing vital heath care to their patients. Information for the public on what to expect when they visit the dentist may be found on ADA’s consumer website MouthHealthy.org.


 

Dentists Prepared to Treat Patients

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 24, 2020): The safety of patients, staff and our community has been and continues to be the top priority for dentists across our state. We have been working diligently to provide safe emergency dental care to Oklahoma citizens during the COVID-19 crisis in order to prevent dental emergency room visits. This has curtailed our ability to provide disease control, specialty care, and additional oral health care that would enhance the overall health of our patients and prevent the deterioration of certain systemic diseases.

As healthcare professionals, dentists and dental team members routinely practice the highest sterilization and infectious disease prevention and mitigation standards set forth by the Center of Disease Control (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), and the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry. The American Dental Association (ADA) and the Oklahoma Dental Association (ODA) has been working with these federal and state organizations on the safety guidelines around COVID-19. These organizations have issued guidelines for dental settings and can be found on their websites:

• CDC Guidance
• OSHA Guidance 
• OSDH Guidance 
 ADA Guidance

“It is essential Oklahomans have access to safe and immediate dental care, or risk compromising their overall health and unnecessarily overcrowding our already overburdened emergency rooms with dental concerns that could be treated in the dental office,” said Dr. Paul Mullasseril, ODA President. “Dentists in Oklahoma are governed by the State Dental Act which requires us to follow CDC Guidelines. We take those guidelines seriously every day – not just during a pandemic – to protect our patients, our team members and ourselves. We are procuring the proper PPE and all necessary safety measures are in place. Any information you may have received to the contrary is wholly inaccurate.”

Oklahoma dentists are ready to see their patients per Governor Stitt’s executive order.


 

Dentists Addressing Essential Care for Patients

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 31, 2020): Dentists have been and continue to be available to treat their patients for essential oral health care needs and alleviate emergency situations. As healthcare providers we understand our responsibility in preventing and mitigating the spread of the novel COVID –19 virus, preserving PPE, and maintaining the oral health of the citizens of Oklahoma.

“We ask that patients who have ANY oral health care issue or question to please call their dentist immediately,” said Dr. Dan Wilguess, ODA President. “Your dentist can then discuss the best plan for treatment and ensure the proper measures are taken to address the issue.”

Oral health is an important part of overall health, and as health care professionals, we are here to partner with hospitals and other Oklahoma healthcare providers to ensure our communities are safe and individuals receive the services they need to stay healthy.

The ADA and the ODA are continually evaluating and will update its recommendation on an ongoing basis as new information becomes available. Please visit ADA.org/virus or okda.org/COVID-19 for the latest information.


 

Dentists Addressing Emergency Dental Procedures

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 23, 2020): Last week the American Dental Association and the Oklahoma Dental Association called on Dentists to voluntarily suspend non-essential or non-urgent dental care for three weeks (and then reevaluate at that time). The members of the Oklahoma Dental Association (ODA) understand our responsibility in preventing and mitigating the spread of the novel COVID –19 virus and preserving PPE.

Oklahoma Dentists will continue to be available to their patients as needed for emergency care and services. If a patient presents dental trauma, pain or infection, or any other dental emergency (complete list of dental emergencies) we ask hospitals to contact one of the dentists or oral surgeons with whom they regularly refer or visit okda.org/oda-member-dentist/ for an ODA member near them.

Our goal is to reduce the risk of patients’ exposure to COVID-19 and to preserve PPE and supplies, while still allowing access to necessary and emergency dental services that will maintain the oral health of the citizens of Oklahoma and keep them out of the hospital ER. Oral health is an important part of overall health, and as health care professionals, we are here to partner with our hospitals to ensure our communities are safe and individuals receive the services they need.

The ADA and the ODA are continually evaluating and will update its recommendation on an ongoing basis as new information becomes available. Please visit ADA.org/virus or okda.org/COVID-19 for the latest information. Practitioners can also find resources here to minimize the long-term impact this virus has on their office.


 

ODA Calls Upon Dentists to Postpone Elective Procedures

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 17, 2020): The members of the Oklahoma Dental Association (ODA) understand our responsibility in preventing and mitigating the spread of the novel COVID – 19 virus. The dentists of Oklahoma are always committed to the highest standards in sterilization and other universal protocols and during this event we continue to keep our patients’ health our top priority. With the rapidly changing news around this virus, the ODA, with consultation from the American Dental Association (ADA), and the Oklahoma Department of Health, has decided to issue the following guidance for dentists in Oklahoma.

The ODA recommends that dentists practicing in Oklahoma voluntarily suspend non-essential or non-urgent dental care for three weeks (and then reevaluate at that time). Dentists will continue to be available to their patients as needed for emergency care and services. This recommendation to the dental profession is intended to reduce the risk of patients’ exposure to COVID-19 and to preserve PPE and supplies, while still allowing access to necessary and emergency dental services that will maintain the oral health of the citizens of Oklahoma and keep them out of the hospital ER.

This is a recommendation from the ADA and the ODA and is not a mandate. As of March 17, 2020, there are no federal or state directives mandating dental office closures. Absent governmental directives (whether federal, state, county, or municipal), it is up to each individual dentist to exercise their professional judgement in deciding what additional precautions should be implemented and whether or how to continue dental office operations. Oral health is an important part of overall health, and as health care professionals, it is up to dentists to make well-informed decisions about their patients and practices. The ODA and the ADA is committed to providing the latest information to the profession in a useful and timely manner.

The ADA and the ODA are continually evaluating and will update its recommendation on an ongoing basis as new information becomes available. Please visit ADA.org/virus or okda.org/COVID-19 for the latest information. Practitioners can also find resources here to minimize the long-term impact this virus has on their office.