COVID-19 Clinical Guidance

COVID-19 Clinical Guidance

Recently, the WSDA Board of Directors formed a work group of board members to monitor the clinical impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently, the WSDA Board of Directors formed a work group of board members to monitor the clinical impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This work group is reviewing emerging guidelines and will share important information that we strongly recommend that all dentists read.

The ADA recently shared Summary of ADA Guidance During the SARS-CoV-2 Crisis.

Please read the entire document, especially this important information:

SARS-CoV-2 is different from the flu, the common cold and SARS-1 and requires different precautions than dental teams have been employing since the early 1980s.

When emergency or urgent care is warranted, risk must be minimized during emergent treatment. ADA recommends the following:

  • Screen for dental emergencies using teledentistry or other remote modalities, minimizing the risk of transmission 
  • Fully utilize PPE, understanding that surgical masks, which do not seal around the nose and mouth, are not adequate to completely protect against aerosol-borne disease transmission
  • Reduce aerosol production as much as possible through use of hand instrumentation, and employment of dental dam and high speed suction in restorative and endodontic procedures
  • N95 masks, with a positive seal around the nose and mouth, in combination with a full-face shield, should be worn when treating patients in close proximity to their respiratory system, similar to the protocol for medical teams performing intubations. If N95 masks are not available, surgical FDA approved masks must be worn for each patient, not reused, and discarded immediately after the procedure is concluded
  • Members of the dental team within six feet of the treatment aerosol area should be limited to the operator and the assistant

When providing emergent/urgent care, dentists should utilize procedures that reduce and/or minimize aerosol production in order to minimize the risk to providers, staff, and patients. Some procedures to consider include scoop and fill, glass ionomers, and silver diamine fluoride. If you need clinical advice or guidance related to these procedures, we strongly encourage you to communicate with your colleagues. WSDA leadership can also help connect you with additional information related to these procedures.

In addition, we strongly encourage all members to carefully and thoughtfully review the ADA’s guidance on “What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?” during this pandemic.

We will continue to provide relevant guidance and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.



Dr. Dennis Bradshaw
WSDA President