Ohio Dental Association implements ER diversion plan

April 8, 2020

The ODA is offering dentists and specialists the opportunity to be on-call for emergency patients who do not have a regular dentist.

The Ohio Dental Association has officially implemented a plan to divert dental emergencies away from hospital emergency rooms across the state during the Coronavirus pandemic, the ODA President Sharon Parsons, DDS announced. The ODA is offering dentists and specialists the opportunity to be on-call for emergency patients who do not have a regular dentist.

After reaching out to local dental societies and leaders, the ODA has compiled a list of dentists who are willing to treat emergency patients who do not have a regular dentist. In conjunction with the state, the ODA has created a plan to divert dental patients from ERs.

The current ODA plan includes the following:

  • Dentists are considered essential personnel

  • All dental offices should be on call for emergency services to either take care of absolute emergencies or direct patients to appropriate providers

  • All dentists should have a list of specialists in their area that are on call for emergency treatment

  • Any patient that arrives at any ER or urgent care center will be triaged at entry and directed to call their dentist

  • Any dentist who is contacted will determine the best approach for their patient to get care

  • The dentist/specialist will address the emergency and provide appropriate treatment and follow-up instructions

  • The ODA hopes to have multiple locations in every large metropolitan area-with dentists and specialists on call to treat emergencies of those patients without a dental home

  • Patients without a dental home will be provided the locations offering emergency dental care

In addition, the ODA is compiling a list of dental offices-both general dentists and specialists-and dental clinics prepared to treat dental emergency patients who do not currently have a dentist of record and may not have dental insurance.

Dental professionals who are interested in offering emergency care can add their name to the list by following this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SD7LCFW. The deadline to add names to the ODA’s list is April 10. The final list will be shared publicly during the state of emergency.

The ODA believes this process will prevent the over-crowding of ERs with dental patients and provide a source of appropriate care and follow-up, Dr. Parsons said.

For more information and other COVID-19 dental resources, visit oda.orghttp://oda.org.