ADHA Interim Guidance on Returning to Work
In order to protect the dental hygienist, the dental team and patients, the American Dental\ Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) continues to support the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that balance the need to provide necessary services while minimizing risk to patients and dental healthcare personnel (DHCP). All healthcare personnel are recommended to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Unvaccinated DHCP, patients and visitors should be offered resources and counseled about the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. No team members should come to work if sick or having cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms.
Postpone all non-urgent dental treatment for: 1) patients with suspected or confirmed
SARS-CoV-2 infection until they meet criteria to discontinue Transmission-Based Precautions
and 2) patients who meet criteria for quarantine until they complete quarantine.
- Dental care for these patients should only be provided if medically necessary. Follow all recommendations for care and placement for patients with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- If a patient has a fever strongly associated with a dental diagnosis (e.g., pulpal and periapical dental pain and intraoral swelling are present) but no other symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are present, dental care can be provided following the practices recommended for routine health care during the pandemic.
ADHA has developed this document to provide ongoing interim guidance to dental hygienists during the pandemic.
As licensed health care providers, dental hygienists have a responsibility to uphold the highest standards of clinical practice to ensure the health and safety of the individuals they serve and the team members with whom they interact.
The following considerations have been prepared utilizing guidelines, regulations and resources from key resources including, but not limited to, CDC, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP).