CDC updates infection control guidelines for dental practices

August 6, 2020

The updates include changes to PPE and patient screenings, as well as new guidance for high-risk regions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings on August 4. The changes include updates on personal protective equipment (PPE), infection control guidance for practices in COVID-19 hotspots, and addresses patient screenings.

In areas that are deemed to have a moderate or substantial risk of community transmission, the CDC now recommends that during encounters with patients not suspected of SARS-CoV-2, dental healthcare professionals (DHCP) wear eye protection in addition to their facemask to protect the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth from exposure to respiratory secretions, including splashes and sprays. DHCP should also use an N95 respirator or a respirator that offers equivalent or higher levels of protection during aerosol-generating procedures (AGP).

Additionally, the CDC has added language that protective eyewear with gaps between glasses and the face are not likely to protect eyes from all splashes and sprays.

The CDC has also updated the definition of fever to either measured temperatures of ≥100℉ or subjective fever to align with the agency’s COVID-19 guidance in healthcare settings. Additional guidance on social distancing and how to respond to SARS-CoV-2 exposures among DHCP and others.

To read the CDC’s updates in full, click here.