Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
The Dental Board of Australia regulates all the activities of dental professionals who practice in Australia and the Australian Dental Association is our professional body which helps develop the guidelines which we use every day.
During the current Covid-19 crisis the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee comes into prominence as well.
This committee comprises of the Chief Health Officer of each state and is chaired by the Chief Medical Officer. They advise the National Cabinet on health protection matters at the national level.
It is this committee which advises on social distancing measures and has stopped elective surgeries. The same committee has now implemented level 3 restrictions for dental practices as per the ADA guidelines.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
It means that there is a limited range of work that we can do, such as:
- Emergencies with significant pain
- Management of toothache
- Treatment of infection
- Management of decay which may rapidly progress
- Management of trauma
- Orthodontic emergencies
All routine work will be deferred. Some of this could have been done yesterday. Most of our patients have been understanding of this but we’ve had some who have been quite upset - we are just trying to protect you and our team is trying our best to help!!
This also means that if a dentist is doing routine procedures they may potentially be contravening these recommendations and putting people at risk. Not cool.
Level 4 - which puts more restrictions on what we can or can’t do: we will be mostly managing trauma, acute pain and facial swelling. Things that we normally refer to specialists to do.
Level 5 - where we cannot do any dental work and all patients will be referred to emergency care centres
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
If you have a toothache, don’t wait until we get to Level 5. There are no hospital dentists. We were at Level 2 for less than a week and we expect that the levels will keep going up as the virus spreads.
We are taking the following precautions.
- 1-1.5% Hydrogen Peroxide mouthrinse is used pre-procedure
- A rubber dam may be placed if a handpiece is used
- High-speed handpiece usage is minimised
- Additional time between appointments for extra room cleaning
It’s a hard time and we see our role as trying to help the as much as possible to avoid overloading the with toothaches. We do however need to take direction from the ADA and the Dental Board which may make the decision to close all Dental Practices with very little notice, so please, don’t wait until there’s no dentist to see to get a toothache managed.
If you are in a dental emergency, please either email firstname.lastname@example.org or ONLY message 04 1306 2026 and Alicia our practice manager will triage for an appointment.
https://www.health.gov.au/ news/australian-health- protection-principal- committee-ahppc-advice-to- national-cabinet-about-school- immunisation-programs-and- dental-services
https://www.ada.org.au/ Campaign/COVID-19/Managing- COVID-19/Practice-Resources/ Dental-restriction-Levels/ADA- dental-restriction-levels-in- COVID-19-Publishe.aspx