ADA, ISDS announce recommendations for practices to close due to Coronavirus

April 1, 2020

The American Dental Association and the Illinois State Dental Society have recommended that dentists across the country suspend elective procedures in response to the spread of Coronavirus.

The American Dental Association and the Illinois State Dental Society have recommended that dentists across the country suspend elective procedures in response to the spread of Coronavirus.

Following similar recommendations from a variety of state dental organizations and public officials nationwide, the ADA and the ISDS have asked dental practices to halt day-to-day, non-emergency procedures. 

The American Dental Association recognizes the unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances dentists and all health care professionals face related to growing concern about COVID-19,” ADA President Chad P. Gehani said in a statement on March 16. “The ADA is deeply concerned for the health and well-being of the public and the dental team. In order for dentistry to do its part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the ADA recommends dentists nationwide postpone elective procedures for the next three weeks. Concentrating on emergency dental care will allow us to care for our emergency patients and alleviate the burden that dental emergencies would place on hospital emergency department.

“As health care professionals, it is up to dentists to make well-informed decisions about their patients and practices. The ADA is committed to providing the latest information to the profession in a useful and timely manner. The ADA is continually evaluating and will update its recommendation on an ongoing basis as new information becomes available.”

Additionally, the ISDS recommends that dental offices close for a period of two weeks beginning March 17. The organization cites the high-risk dental professionals are placed in due to their proximity to patients as one of the reasons for this recommendation.

“In light of national and state mandates and restrictions that are in effect to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the ISDS Board of Trustees has been closely monitoring and discussing the virus’s transmission and precautions that dentists should temporarily implement in their dental offices. As leaders in the healthcare profession, we must be proactive to limit the spread of this virus.  Dentists are in one of the highest risk categories for transmission and contraction of the virus, with many routine dental procedures potentially transmitting the virus via aerosolization of fluids,” the ISDS statement read.

For more information from the ADA, visit ada.org/virus for the latest information or email MSC@ada.org.

As of March 17, there are 4,556 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. Numerous dental organizations, including the Virginia Dental Association and the Ohio State Dental Board, have issued similar guidelines. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, social distancing is one of the key ways to limit exposure to the Coronavirus, the virus that causes a respiratory illness known as COVID-19.

UPDATE: On April 1, the Illinois State Dental Society recommended that dentists cease all in-person dental treatment except for dental emergencies until further notice. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker extended a "stay-at-home" order for all residents, directing people to remain in their homes except for essentials until the end of April to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

The ISDS also recommends that the public only seek dental care in case of dental emergencies. If a patient is low-income, uninsured or underinsured and in need of emergency care, visit our interactive dental map by clicking here: https://www.isds.org/for-the-public/find-a-dental-clinic