COVID-19

IMPORTANT UPDATES

  • Maxwell Dental

COVID-19
Important Updates.

Stay updated on what's happening in with dentists in alberta.

On March 17, 2020 the Alberta Dental Association and College announced a mandatory stoppage of all non-emergency dental treatment. The intent of this was to facilitate social distancing and help prevent people from contracting the COVID-19 virus. By doing this we help to reduce the risk of a spike in severely ill patients in our hospitals.

As the government begins to announce plans to slowly re-open we must remain vigilante and follow the instructions laid out by the government and the ADA&C (Alberta Dental Association and College). 

Please see below for updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and Alberta Dental Association.

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COVID-19 ADA&C Updates

The ADA&C have further information about medical grade and commercial grade N95 masks for members delivering Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures.

Medical Grade Masks

The following masks can be used in place of an N95:

  • FFP2 respirators meeting the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) Standard (EN 149:2001+Al:2009)
  • KN95 respirators meeting the National Standard of the People’s Republic of China (GB2626-2006)
  • P2 respirators meeting the standards of the Council of Standards Australia/Council of Standards New Zealand (AS/NZA 1716:2012)
  • Korea 1st class respirators meeting the standards of Korean Food and Drug Administration (KMOEL – 2017-64)
  • DS respirators meeting the standards of the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (Japan JMHLW-Notification 214, 2018)

The kinds of masks dentists may use in Alberta have expanded because of a May 3, 2020 Order from the Alberta Minister of Labour and Immigration (MO Order 2020-2021). The masks listed above and referenced in the MO Order 2020-2021 meet the Health Canada interim order. Health Canada has expanded equivalent alternate standards so that respirators approved under standards used in other countries that are similar to NIOSH-approved N95 respirators may be used.

This Ministerial Order 2020-2021 is in effect for a very specific time period in relation to the State of Public Health Emergency.

Commercial Grade N95 Masks

Health Canada has allowed the use of commercial-grade N95 masks in a health care setting during the COVID-19 outbreak if alternatives are not available.

Level 3 Mask + Face Shield
If a respirator is not available, use a combination of a level 3 surgical mask and full-face shield.

Dentists are to use their appropriate clinical judgment and risk assessment.

 

Facility Requirements
The ADA&C does not require dental practices to make major air filtration technology purchases or change existing office designs.

Dentists are providing an essential service. Therefore, dentists may have more than 15 people in the dental office at one time. However, dentists are required to follow Workplace Guidance for Community Health Care Settings, as outlined by Alberta Health Services. We recommend that dentists carefully manage patient and staff flow and contact.

Grey Market PPE

The ADA&C is aware of the shortages and concerns members are having procuring PPE. We are actively working with both AHS and dental suppliers on the issues of PPE.

It is critical that PPE be Dental Industry Association of Canada (DIAC) compliant.

To be compliant, a product must have a Health Canada product licence and be sold by a dealer with a Health Canada establishment licence.

Noncompliant products can look very similar to compliant products, but are generally sold at a much lower price. Side-by-side comparisons of compliant and noncompliant versions of product are almost impossible to distinguish.

Follow the DIAC checklist to help avoid the use of noncompliant products.

DIAC Checklist

• Is it the same product that you ordered?
• Does it have the same name as advertised?
• Does it have the same product number?
• Are the contents the same as advertised? (quantity, shapes, sizes, colors, etc)
• Is the package in English and French?
• Have any markings been scratched out?
• Is the product in it’s original package? (or a zip lock bag or other substitute container)
• Do the lot number and expiry date on the package match those on the container?
• Does the package or contents have markings that indicate it may have been rerouted? (e.g. ‘Not for sale in North America’)
• Is equipment CSA approved or equivalent?

We have updated the Guidelines on Emergency and Urgent Treatment to include the Workplace Guidance for Community Health Care Settings, as per Alberta Health.

We have also included a link to Alberta Health’s Workplace Guidance For Business Owners – this document highlights employer responsibilities. For a comprehensive list of Employment Standards, see the Alberta Health Workplace guidance for Alberta’s relaunch.

Alberta dentists are reminded that registered dental hygienists and registered dental assistants are governed by their own independent Colleges. Although we dialogue regularly, these governing bodies will make their own decisions with respect to their members’ return to practice.

College of Registered Dental Hygienists of Alberta: COVID-19 Return to Work Guidelines

The College of Alberta Dental Assistants Return to Work Plans include a link to our Guidelines on Emergency and Urgent Treatment.

The ADA&C will have further information as it’s finalized regarding the expansion of services to include non-urgent dental care. This is subject to the Chief Medical Officer’s orders and the anticipated stage 1 Alberta Relaunch Plan.

On Monday, May 4, dentists of Alberta will be able to provide urgent dental care in addition to emergent care. The Guidelines on Emergency and Urgent Treatment, have been updated.

Other documents that have been updated include:
Patient Consent Form
Guidelines on Remote Dentistry

At this time the ADA&C does not anticipate requiring dental practices to make major air filtration technology purchases or change existing office designs.

May 1 COVID-19 Update: Return to Work and Monday, May 4

On Monday, May 4, dentists of Alberta will be able to provide urgent dental care in addition to emergent care.

The Guidelines on Emergency Treatment will be updated later today and posted for your use. There are no major changes anticipated.

As of May 14, provided the Alberta Relaunch Strategy remains on track, dentists of Alberta will be able to provide further services. It is anticipated this will expand to include non-urgent dental services. We will communicate with members when the guidelines for this have been posted.

Alberta’s Phased Relaunch Strategy

At 4 p.m. today Alberta Health announcement Alberta’s Phased Relaunch Strategy, with stage one starting May 14. As part of this strategy, all regulated health professionals may return to safe practice subject to guidelines approved by their respective regulatory colleges.

The current suspension on non-emergent dental care remains in place.

The finalization of these guidelines is being undertaken and will be released by May 4 to facilitate the gradual progression to return to a full scope of practice. We understand that membership would like as much notice as possible to plan for the updated guidelines. The ADA&C continues to review the best science currently available. We are focusing on Albertan’s access to care, protection and safety of the dental team.

Thank you for playing an important role in helping stop the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to provide essential oral health services.

TO READ PAST ADVISORIES VISIT: ADA&C COMMUNICATIONS