Dentistry Largely Exempted from Federal OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard 

 On June 10, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) on COVID-19. This standard requires added substantial infection controls in settings like hospitals and nursing homes. Dental practices are largely exempted from the new OSHA emergency temporary standard; however, dental practices must continue to follow some key provisions:

  • Pre-appointment screenings are still necessary
  • Everyone (patients, non-employees on site, and staff) must be screened prior to entry and those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not permitted to enter, and
  • Dental practices should have a written COVID-19 plan.

Widespread adoption of the ADA’s Return to Work Interim Guidance which included strengthened infection control measures along with very low COVID-19 infection rates for dentists and dental hygienists provide strong evidence that dental practices are safe workplaces. The ETS is a win for science and for ADA federal advocacy efforts on behalf of the profession.

A state OSHA or other local regulatory body may enact a more stringent standard, including one that does cover dental offices. Consult with your state and local dental societies regarding what may be happening in your area.

To read more on the ADA News story and watch the from ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D. visit the ADA website.


Visit for the latest COVID-19 information.

ADA Back to Work Toolkit

Developed with oversight from the ADA’s Task Force on Practice Recovery and with input from ADA team experts, the ADA’s Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit is designed to offer useful tips for managing your practice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional: ADA Mental Health Resources

Guidance for Re-Opening Dental Practices

These organizations have issued guidelines for dental settings:



Gov. Kevin Stitt announced further restrictions to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Oklahoma.  Stitt issued a “safer at home” order for vulnerable Oklahomans to stay at home until April 30, except for essential travels, such as going to the grocery stores or going to the pharmacy.  Read the whole article HERE.

Additionally,  Please find a summary of the actions Governor Stitt took as well as a list of all state actions taken to date to respond to and prepare for COVID-19 HERE.

Governor Stitt's Executive Order 2020-07

Senate Passes CARES Act, 3rd COVID-19 Relief Bill

For the last few weeks, the American Dental Association has advocated on dentists' behalf as federal lawmakers debate the best way to respond to the deepening economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Congress is finalizing legislation that could support dentists during these exceptional circumstances.

Read the latest information on the CARES Act
Webinar: What's In the CARES Act and How It Can Immediately Impact My Dental Practice
Loans Affected by the CARES Act
Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act

HR 6201 Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Read the latest information on HR 6201 Families First Coronavirus Response Act

HR 1784 Healthy Families Act

Read the latest Information on HR 1784 Healthy Families Act

  • This bill addresses small business and their obligations to their employees. 
HR 3415 Paid Sick Days for Public Health Emergencies and Personal and Family Care Act

H3415 Paid Sick Days for Public Health Emergencies and Personal and Family Care Act

  • This bill expands the availability of paid sick time by requiring employers with at least one employee to provide a minimum amount of accrued paid sick time per work week and additional paid sick time in the event of a public-health emergency such as the coronavirus outbreak
ADA Legislative Package

ADA lobbies Congress’ coronavirus legislative package

Click here to read more about the ADA's efforts to ensure current proposed bills are beneficial to dentists and patients.

Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Oklahoma small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This funding will be provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by President Trump. To qualify for the program, the state must submit documentation of business losses for at least five businesses per county. If approved, an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration will make disaster loans of up to $2 million available to small businesses and private, nonprofit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by COVID-19. According to the SBA, these loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the impact of COVID-19. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere and 2.75% for nonprofits. Businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible for this program.

Small Business Administration Clarifies Rule with ADA

ADA has confirmed that dentists are eligible for both the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA).  Read more HERE.

Update from Dr. Chad P. Gehani, ADA President


Coronavirus Center for Dentists
View all the latest ADA resources on the Coronavirus.

State Governor and State Society Position Statements
Read other state's governments and professional dental organization's statements regarding COVID-19.

ADA Joins Other Health Care Organizations in an Appeal for More PPE
The ADA signed a statement supporting an increase of PPE and other medical equipment produced and distributed at a federal level.

Postponement and Reopening Statement
The ADA Board met April 18 and approved the linked statement.

Interim Mask and Face Shield Guidance
The ADA provided guidance on protecting yourself, your staff and your patients.



Charging For PPE

The ODA strongly encourages dental offices to disclose any additional fees upfront to patients – why the circumstances demand a fee for PPE – and to document these charges in the patient record.  In addition, posting a sign such as this one could be used as an additional form of communicating with patients about the fee.  Haga clic aquí para versión en español.

Patient Communication During COVID-19

It is crucial that you stay in contact with your patients during this time to ensure they know you are still there to meet their emergency and urgent oral health care needs. Communicating with your patients not only answers their important questions, but  also validates that you are still accessible and truly care about their health. Also, make sure to communicate with your staff so they are prepared to respond in a helpful, calm, and reassuring manner.

Patient Communication Resources

ADA Sample Letter

Social Media Communication Examples

Coding and Billing

The ADA has provided THIS update for COVID-19 coding and billing Interim Guidance. 

*Please check back often for the most up-to-date information. 

Teledentistry and COVID-19

View Information

CDC Guidance for Dental Settings

Key Concepts

  • Dental settings have unique characteristics that warrant additional infection control considerations.
  • Postpone elective procedures, surgeries, and non-urgent dental visits, and contact patients prior to emergency procedures. Stay at home if sick and know steps to take if a patient with COVID-19 symptoms enters your facility.

Learn More

Infection Control

Can I wash or reuse face masks?
Single-use masks, or disposable masks, should not be washed for the purpose of reusing with patients.

What do I do if I run out of face masks, gloves, or other PPE?
The FDA has stated that it is continuing to monitor the domestic and global supply chain for potential disruptions or shortages and will “use all available tools to react swiftly and mitigate the impact to U.S. patients and healthcare professionals.” In the meantime, the agency encourages healthcare facilities to report any supply disruptions to

If you do not have adequate supplies to meet regulations, you should reschedule patient appointments when required PPE is replenished for your office.

Should my office provide face masks to patients while they wait for treatment?
Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. Dentists are advised to only proceed with appointments for patients who do not show symptoms, and the CDC does not recommend a face mask for people who are well.

In small or crowded waiting rooms that offer less than six feet of distance between patients, office staff can offer patients the option to wait in their cars and receive a phone call or text message when it is their turn for treatment.

What policies and practices should my office follow to minimize the chance of exposure?
Interim CDC guidance for businesses and employers recommends that:

  • Employers encourage employees who report symptoms of acute respiratory illness to stay home and not return to work until they are free of symptoms for at least 24 hours without the use of fever relieving or symptom altering medications.
  • If an employee appears to be sick upon arrival to work, they should be separated from other employees and sent home immediately.
  • Employees cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Employees wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used.

CDC recommends employers place posters that encourage coughing and sneezing etiquette and proper hand hygiene at the entrance to their workplace and in other areas where they are likely seen.

Which disinfectants that are effective against the novel coronavirus can I use in my dental practice?

The EPA recently released a list of disinfectants that are effective against the novel coronavirus. You will need to use a disinfectant that also meets the requirements of the state dental board's infection control regulations. Reference this list of EPA- and state-approved disinfectants.

Patient Screening

What is the procedure for screening patients?
CDC recommends healthcare facilities, including dental offices, screen patients before proceeding with an appointment. Information to take note of:

  • Any individual who exhibits or reports signs of acute respiratory illness such as coughing, fever and shortness of breath.
  • Recent travel to any locations that have a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for COVID-19. Verify when the patient returned to the United States. If the patient reports that at least two weeks have passed since their return from one of the identified regions and no symptoms have presented, the dental office can proceed with the appointment. When local, state or federal public health officials declare the disease is at the community level, screening for travel is not necessary.
  • Close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19.

Dentists may also send a notice advising patients who are experiencing acute respiratory illness to remain home and reschedule appointments.

CDC Guidelines for Patient Screening. 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary

Free Online Training
  • Online toolkit for preventing the spread of Covid-19
  • Free concise online training course for you & your team, based on recommendations from the CDC and ADA, to give you the tools to protect yourself & your loved ones, work associates and patients.
CDC County Specific Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance can be found here. To make sure dental offices are implementing COVID-19 strategies specific to their local area, please visit the CDC for recommendations on infection control and county-specific guidance.

Oklahoma State Department of Health

Information on prevention, testing, and current Oklahoma case count may be found

Oklahoma Board of Dentistry

Updates from the Board of Dentistry can be found

Emergency vs. Non-Emergency Procedures

 ADA Offers Guidance for Determining Dental Procedures 

Department of Labor
The Wage and Hour Division provides information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to influenza, pandemics, or other public health emergencies, and their effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.