Dentists with DEA registration must comply with new federal act requiring opioid use disorder training

Quick Summary:

March 29 update: A DEA letter to registrants outlines the training requirements of the federal Medication Access and Training Expansion Act, which requires DEA registrants to complete eight hours of training before initial DEA registration or by the first renewal of registration occurring on or after June 27. The letter confirms that a CDA course and ADA courses on opioid prescribing and pain management can be applied toward the federally required training. Relevant dental school instruction also satisfies the training requirement.



Mask mandate ends April 3 for workers, patients and visitors in California’s health care settings

Quick Summary: 

Beginning April 3, face masks will be optional for patients, visitors and workers not performing clinical procedures in dental offices and other health care settings in California per new guidance from the state Department of Public Health. The guidance follows Gov. Newsom’s termination on Feb. 28 of California’s pandemic State of Emergency. Until the new guidance takes effect, all workers, patients and visitors in health care and high-risk settings in California must continue to wear face masks.



September 28th, 2022 COVID-19 Mask, Screening and Physical Distancing FAQ

Quick Summary: 
Answers to members’ top questions about physical distancing, patient screening, the use of face coverings, and other COVID-19 prevention requirements.

NOTE: Dentists must follow the stricter orders regarding screening, mask-wearing and other COVID-19 requirements, whether federal, state or local, and should check with their local health department to ensure compliance.



September 17th, 2022 Weekly COVID testing mandate ends for unvaccinated health care workers in California

Quick Summary: 

The California Department of Public Health on Sept. 17 ended the COVID-19 testing mandate for unvaccinated health care workers and other individuals in high-risk settings, which include dental offices.



August 1st, 2022 Face-mask requirements for health care settings still apply to dental offices

Quick Summary:

The new state guidance clarifies that face masks will remain required for all individuals, regardless of their vaccination status, in dental offices and other health care settings, in long-term care settings, indoors at K-12 schools, on public transit and in other specified settings. All workers and patients in dental offices must wear face masks. Also, N95s or better respirators should continue to be worn during aerosol-generating procedures.



June 3rd, 2021 - CDPH: Beyond the Blueprint for Industry and Business Sectors - Effective June 15

California Department of Public Health has released some new information regarding other industries. Although not directly pertaining to dental, you might find some of the information useful as to re-evaluating standard practices in your practice. As of now, CDPH and CDA still recommend dental offices keep patient screening protocols (sans questions about travel), wearing N95s OR surgical masks AND face shields, and limiting aerosols via four-handed assisting and using suction in the operatories. 

Please see the following links:

May 21, 2021 - ANNOUNCEMENT: Beyond the Blueprint for Industry and Business Sectors - Effective June 15

Blueprint Activities and Business Tiers Chart

Beyond the Blueprint Q&A

What Will California Look Like After June 15? Flyer


May 13th, 2021 - PPE Announcement from CDA


UPDATE: Thursday, April 1st, 2021 - Order Waiving License Renewal Requirements

The Dental Board of California (Board) has received correspondence from licensees regarding the impact of the Governor’s Executive Order N-39-20 and the current DCA Waivers in place applicable to the renewal requirements of Board licensees.

Please note, as of March 30, 2021, the current waivers in place applicable to renewal requirements are as follows:

  • For individuals whose active licenses expire between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021, continuing education requirements are temporarily waived for the purpose of license renewal. This temporary waiver does not apply to any continuing education, training, or examination required pursuant to a disciplinary order against a license. Licensees must satisfy any waived renewal requirements within six months of the DCA Director’s order, unless further extended. These temporary waivers do not relieve such individuals from timely complying with any other renewal requirements, including completing and submitting the required renewal forms to the governing licensing agency.

A full list of DCA Waivers will be available on this web site as they are approved:


ATTN: NEW DATES! Ventura County Vaccinations for Dental Professionals

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

Attention all Ventura County Dentists that requested COVID vaccination for themselves and/or their staff - Ventura County has added more appointment times!

WARNING: These dates and times are only for eligible healthcare and dental health professionals.




Sunday, January 10th, 2021

Attention all Ventura County Dentists that requested COVID vaccination for themselves and/or their staff,


In the link below is a document from VC Public Health Department with links to make appointments at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, Anacapa Bldg. Appointments are available all next week. Parking is in Lot C. You are to use the link multiple times for each of your personnel. You can go as a group or individually. Each person will be required to bring their ID and some form of proof that they work in a Dental Office, such as a Business card, pay stub, work ID badge.

DO NOT SHARE THIS INFORMATION OR THE LINK OUTSIDE YOUR OFFICE – NOT TO ANOTHER PRACTICE, FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER. Public Health Departments are still working on vaccinating Tier 1.a health care workers. If unauthorized people show-up without the proper ID, they will be turned away and it will just complicate the process for others. The general public will be informed in the next few weeks, according to age. In the registration link, there is a button that says “add a family member”. Please DO NOT use this option. This is for later on when they are vaccinating the public. Unfortunately they cannot remove this option, as it is a State run program. 


If you know of other dentists in need of access to vaccinations, please have them email their request to:

When the appointments fill up, VCPH will be sending out more links for the following week, and we will forward to you.

Thank you, SBVCDS



Thursday, January 7th, 2021

SBVCDS is happy to share this latest update from SB Public Health. Please note that we have no further information than what is listed here, but we will always let you know whenever we have more information.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has received our allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine and are working swiftly to make this vaccine available to our Phase 1a healthcare partners (Tiers 1-3) that are in direct care areas.  Please help us spread this message to your eligible staff. 



Tuesday, December 29th, 2020 - VACCINE UPDATE for Ventura County

Dear members,

As you know, the state has provided guidance for vaccine distribution to the counties while leaving some room for each county to manage in accordance with their own resources and needs. Your society and board of directors has been advocating hard and as of today we are happy to report that dentistry has been moved up to Phase 1, Tier 2, meaning you and your staff are next in line to receive vaccinations. The timeline and the method will be announced later and we will share what we learn as soon as possible. Please read their update here:

Please note that we have been made aware of reports of dentists going to local hospitals and are being turned away at this time. To avoid this inconvenience to you and to the hospital staff, we suggest that you follow us on Facebook as that is likely the fastest way we can get our information to you. We do not have any information beyond what the County Health Department announces, so please do check their website (on the above link) for even more direct answers. We are currently working hard on this matter and we hope to have updated information to share in the near future. If there is any other information we can provide, please email us at We are here for you!


Monday, December 28th, 2020 - VACCINE UPDATE for Santa Barbara County

Hello dear members ~ on Christmas Eve, the SB County Public Health Department gave an official update of vaccine status. The link below gives the official announcement and the link to register for COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Sign-Up:


Please know that your Dental Society/Board are contacting the health department daily to stay on top of status and we will always inform you as soon as we learn new information.

Following us on Facebook is likely the fastest source of information, as emails can be missed or go to junk mail. While we do not have any information beyond what is stated publicly by the health department, we are here for you. You can email us at Thank you.

Ventura County updates will be in a separate post.


Monday, December 7th, 2020 - COVID-19 Vaccination Allocations

Our Dental Society President, Dr. Hessam Siavash and the rest of the SBVCDS Board have been active in advocating for making COVID-19 vaccines available for dentists and their staff.

We are pleased to announce that the California Dept of Public Health has established dental offices in Phase 1A (Tier 3) of vaccine allocations. Please see the full announcement at this link.

We will keep you posted as more information is made available.



UPDATE: Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 - Order Waiving License Renewal Requirements 

Temporary Waiver of CE Requirements:

Effective October 22, 2020, if a license will expire March 31, 2020 through December 31, 2020, and the licensee is not able to complete the CE units required for renewal due to COVID-19, a temporary waiver of CE requirements can be granted (this includes pit and fissure sealants). According to the Executive Order, the waiver is valid for six (6) months unless further extended and CE must be completed by 04/22/2021. The temporary waiver can be viewed at .


In order to qualify, the licensee must take the following steps:

  • Pay the renewal fee.
  • Answer “No” to the CE question on the renewal.
  • Answer all other questions required on the renewal.
  • Sign and date the renewal (not required if renewing online).


Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 - Order Waiving License Renewal Requirements 

The previous orders were dated through August 31st. However, because of the current circumstances, an update on waiving requirements for licences that expire through October 31st has been issued.

Selected from the document:

Accordingly, for individuals whose active licenses expire between March 31, 2020, and October 31, 2020, the Director temporarily waives:

1. any statutory or regulatory requirement that individuals renewing a license pursuant to Division 2 of the Code take and pass an examination in order to renew a license; and,

2. any statutory or regulatory requirement that an individual renewing a license pursuant to Division 2 of the Code complete, or demonstrate compliance with, any continuing education requirements in order to renew a license.



Friday, July 31st, 2020 - New N95 Fit Testing Event in Santa Barbara!


Monday, July 13th, 2020 - Update from CDA on State Orders



Thursday, July 9th, 2020 - TDSC announces new distribution of face mask kits

Good news for our members! You might have seen an email come through from CDA, this week they have secured additional PPE supplies and are making those available now. ????

Quantities and ordering details

TDSC assembled 15,000 total kits with an estimated value of $741.93 per kit. Each kit contains:

  • 140 BYD N95 respirator masks (seven boxes)
  • 350 level-2 surgical masks (seven boxes)

Due to the ongoing shortage of N95 masks, and in order to support as many dentists as possible, has placed a one-kit limit per California dentist.

To order a kit, dentists will need to take the following steps:

  • Create a free account at
  • Submit an electronic copy/image of their dental license
  • Place order (online only through the ordering page)

Allow five to seven days for processing and shipping confirmation with tracking number

More information is available at the following link:


Tuesday, June 16th, 2020 - Update on VC Public Health GUIDELINES

VC Public Health has updated their guidances! The entire document is important ~ but some items of note are:

- For non-aerosol generating procedures, per the June 3 CDC guidance, dental staff involved in the provision of care to the patient may wear a surgical mask covered by a face shield, along with a gown/or protective clothing and gloves.

-If an aerosol-generating procedure must be performed, all dental staff involved in the provision of care to the patient should be wearing an N95 respirator or equivalent* covered by a face shield, along with a gown and gloves.

-Dentistry is an essential component to maintaining systemic good health.


Thank you to our board president, Dr. Siavash, and to ALL involved who are keeping our community safe, healthy, and SMILING!


Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 - All-Day N95 Mask Fit-Testing!

Please refer to the menu options on the left for more info about fit testing resources.


Thursday, May 21st, 2020 - Printable Door Poster for COVID-19 Protocols

Dear SBVCDS Member,

We have seen many offices creating some version of this door poster, so we created this printable version in both English AND Spanish for you to use if that’s helpful. Just click on the images below to download and print. Wishing you well!



Friday, May 15th, 2020 - BREAKING NEWS!  5/15 VCPH Guidelines change!

Updated 5/15/20


The Ventura County Public Health Dental Guidelines published yesterday (May 14th, 2020) have been UPDATED today.

Please see THIS UPDATED DOCUMENT for the May 15 Guidelines,which include REMOVAL of the previously stated requirement of COVID19-testing prior to all procedures.

There remain many guidelines on their update, but we appreciate the update for the ways it helps patients to have access to the deferred and preventive care they need from you.


Wishing everyone well,

Your SBVCDS team



Dear SBVCDS Members,

Since the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) modified its ‘emergencies only’ order on May 7th, we know you are all transitioning to getting back into your offices and providing care for your patients; and we understand there is a degree of uncertainty whether it is safe to do so. We are receiving many calls requesting advice and interpretation of public orders regarding starting practice. Even yesterday, the VCPH updated the current guidelines for practicing in Ventura County. We are actively seeking clarification from that governing body and we will update you with what we learn just as soon as possible.

Unfortunately we can only provide objective guidance based on what is stated publicly by governing bodies, and make sure you are current with the most updated information in this dynamic time.

With that said, there is no any official confirmation that it is 100% safe to treat patients with no risk to dentists, hygienists or auxiliary staff. The CDPH, SBPH and VCPH are providing all their constituents with recommended safe practice guidelines, and all are written to follow CDC and OSHA guidelines. As an essential business, you are allowed to resume treating patients. Treating patients should be at the sole discretion of the provider.

The SBVCDS is here to offer support to our members and community in any way that we can. We are working hard, as is TDSC, to secure much-needed PPE. We will continue to work tirelessly as your political advocate during these unprecedented times. We will continue to provide you with useful information as it becomes known to us. We have practice guidelines and resources posted to our website to help dentists make a safer transition back to practice. Additionally, we have lists of practitioners who can temporarily see patients for their essential treatment if you feel unsafe opening your practice at this time. And the CDA Critical Care Taskforce (comprised of GPs, specialists, dental school deans, hygienists, assistants, and was co-chaired by the CDA President and the Dental Director of the California Dental Board) has put together a comprehensive Back to Practice resource center just for these times. We all want you to reopen safely and productively. 

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns. Dentistry is essential. Your patients need you, and we are here for you.


California Department of Public Health 5/7/20

UPDATED Ventura County Public Health 5/14/20

Santa Barbara Public Health 5/8/2020

CDA Back to Practice Resources


Tuesday, May 12th, 2020 - MESSAGE ON GUIDELINES

Dentistry is classified as an essential service in California, and just like medical offices, dental offices have NOT been closed throughout the COVID19-response unless by choice, lack of PPE or inability to treat emergencies. Until May, Dentistry was restricted to emergency procedures, but now offices are approved for deferred and preventive care, while following the guidelines for infection control and aerosol avoidance.

The May 7th CDPH guidance is meant to assist dentists with beginning to slowly resume providing more dental care, prioritizing those procedures that were put on hold as the result of the April 7th guidance that advised dentists to provide only emergency dental care. Think of it more like a dimmer switch rather than an on/off switch. There are still many caveats in that guidance, including the requirement to follow “applicable OSHA requirements, which in California include Cal/OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens, Personal Protective Equipment, and Respiratory Protection standards.”

In particular, the guidance recognizes that the risk of transmission from asymptomatic patients remains a concern and aerosol-generating dental procedures require additional protections. Dentists are expected to use their professional judgment to provide deferred and preventive care within CDPH guidance parameters. It is up to the doctor to determine that treatment is urgent/emergent and not routine care. Dentists have well-trained professional judgment. We at the Society are here only to point you to the official posted guidelines. We are not here to advise you on your practice nor even if you should choose to practice at all at this time. That being said, if you are, do consider documenting why the treatment you are prescribing during phase 2 is not simply routine or elective care and record your CDC compliant protocols and PPE usage.

This is a time of concern and confusion among your staff and patients. Again, you are the one who can best assure them that the work being done is appropriate under the current guidelines and your team is strong, compliant, and following all safety measures.



California Department of Public Health: Guidance for Resuming Deferred and Preventive Dental Care

Dear Members,

Yesterday the California Department of Public Health issued guidance to "resume clinically necessary dental for previously scheduled procedures or for those with non-COVID patients who are likely to develop dental emergencies”. Key considerations:

  • Local orders that are more stringent than the state's public health orders must be followed. At this time, neither Santa Barbara nor Ventura are more stringent than the state.
  • Practices must be prepared to cease all but emergency procedures if there is a surge and a change in orders.
  • Dentists must have adequate PPE and sanitation supplies and it is recommended to have a minimum 2-week supply of PPE for dentist and staff to include N95 respirators, face shields, goggles, and surgical masks

Please find the CDPH guidelines for more information HERE.

We know this has been a tough time for our members and hope you find this information useful. Please give out office a call if you have any questions.


Your SBVCDS Team



Dear Members,

With both SB and Vta Counties updating their guidelines at the end of last week, there has been confusion about whether that means offices are to re-open for routine care. Please know that your CDA President, Dr. Nagy, took this question to Dr. Kumar of the California Dental Board who reiterated that these updates are reminding the public that dentists are essential workers. However, these updates do not change the clarification of what work should be done by essential workers and what is emergency care. For that, the California Dept. of Public Health has a statement as we have shared previously.

As for reopening, the CDPH guidance says six significant considerations must be met prior to reopening general, routine care. They are:
• COVID-19 infection rates and impacts on health facilities
• Adequate supply of PPE
• Availability of testing with prompt results should be present for health care delivery situations
• Local public health officers within counties will play a key role in determining return-to-routine-care orders
• Availability of qualified staff
• Facilities will need COVID-19 infection control plan

We will keep you updated on any progress or changes they announce. Of course, neither associations nor societies make mandates, but we are working hard to help understand statements the regulating bodies are issuing in order to best protect you. You might want to contact your county department of public health if you have specific procedures you would like to ask about.

As always, please contact us at SBVCDS if there is any way we can help you.

Your SBVCDS Team


Monday, April 20th, 2020 - County requires notices on door of your office [Updated 4-24-2020]

Dear Members,

If it is helpful for you, we have created the following Sample Notices below for you to post on the doors to your office (as mandated in compliance with Public Health Dept.)


*The first option is for if you are accepting emergency cases. Please write your name and telephone number under “please contact the office”.

EMERGENCY ONLY Notice for Offices (formatted to Word, not GoogleDoc)


*The second option is a sign to post if you are NOT accepting emergency patients and would like the SBVC Dental Society to find a referral for the patient.

CLOSED Notice for Offices (formatted to Word, not GoogleDoc)


Please note, Ventura County also requires this Social Distancing Protocol Form (PDF) that you must fill out and have available near the door to your offices for people who enter. [UPDATE] Santa Barbara County has included their own Social Distancing Protocol Form at the end of this SB Department of Public Health ordinance dated April 24th, 2020. More information from the SBDPH can be found here.

(CDA has created a page on Local COVID-19 Ordinances and Regulations that highlights local directives)

As always, know that you can reach out to the SBVCDS office should you need assistance. The team, Felipe and Mayra, and I are here to serve you.


Linda Lacunza, MA

Executive Director

Santa Barbara - Ventura County Dental Society


Thursday, April 9th, 2020 - A message from your SBVCDS President

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this email finds you and yours safe and healthy. I know you are being inundated with information from many sources, but I also hope that you are finding the most up-to-date resources at helpful.

As many of you are aware, the California Department of Public Health has released a new directive for dental practices that provides specific guidance about clinical care delivery during the COVID-19 crisis. This guidance is in line with CDA recommendations that dentists practicing in California suspend all in-person dental care with the exception of emergency treatment, until further notice. Here it is important to recognize the critical care dental professionals provide to our communities. As healthcare providers, our members are playing a vital role during this crisis situations. Some dental conditions if left untreated can lead to life-threatening conditions. In taking care of patients with dental emergencies, we are supporting our medical healthcare providers in hospitals who are working overtime to fight this pandemic. 

We are also playing a big part in helping our medical colleagues during this crisis by postponing non-emergent and elective procedures, thereby reducing potential vectors for the spread this disease. We are putting the wellbeing of our employees and patients first while making great personal, professional, and economical sacrifices.  I am so proud of so many of our members that stepped up to the plate early. We will see our sacrifices pay off in our communities as we start to see signs of a brighter future. Yet our fight is not over, and now is the time to really tighten the grip on Covid19. I ask that the few who still need encouragement to please join the cause to help curb this virus as we cannot succeed unless we lead together. 

Many of our members have come forward willing to help our local hospitals with PPE donations. As a Society and as individuals, our membership has reached out to our hospitals and they are very thankful for any help our dental community can provide. In response, we have several volunteer locations for members that would like to make PPE donations for our local hospitals. Please contact Linda at the Dental Society if you are able to contribute. It makes me proud to see our members reaching out to help in any ways that they can.  

On a personal note, the health and safety of my family does concern me every time I am asked to see a patient at the hospital. At the same time, I am awed and deeply humbled by the personal sacrifices I see our physicians, nurse practitioners, and hospital teams making day and night. Their needs are great, and they do need us to play our part.

All this makes me realize that our individual contribution to this cause gives rise to a collective force that will most certainly prevail. With that, I thank all of you for all the sacrifices you are making during this public health crisis. We will get through this!

I will end by sharing a quote that Dr. Stephanie Kroll, our Ventura area director, shared with me the other day:  

“Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.” -Benjamin Disraeli

Hessam Siavash DDS, MD, PhD

President 2020


Tues, March 31st, 2020 - Supplies/ Donations

Are you treating emergency patients and need masks? Send us an email - we may have ways to help you.


Are you wanting to donate masks, gloves, and gowns to your local hospital to help with the crisis? Also email us. We have already posted about OFFICIAL requests (coming from the receiving source). What you may not know, however, is that your Board of Directors has a task force of volunteers who can bring your donations to the drop off facilities. We will share pictures showing your contributions going to where they are needed!

Email Linda at

Your Board of Directors and Society are here for you!


Your SBVCDS Team


Fri, March 27th, 2020 - CDC GUIDELINES 

Esteemed Members,

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released interim infection control guidelines related to elective / emergency dentistry amid COVID-19. We share this information with you to help get this information in the hands of dental professionals as soon as possible. Please share with your colleagues!

The guidelines are available here:…/2019-ncov/…/dental-settings.html

We hope this post finds you well. We all need to find support in each other during this time of uncertainty. Please know we are with you and reach out should you need assistance.


Your SBVCDS Team


Fri, March 17th, 2020 - EDC COVID-19 Business Resource Guide

Dear Members,

As we are continuing to get updated information, please know our priority is you and your practice. Feel free to use this Resource Guide for Businesses in the midst of concerns about COVID-19. Please follow the link here:

We are here to serve you. Give us a call should you have any questions.

All the best,

Your SBVCDS Team


Mon, March 16th, 2020 - Important Announcement from our SBVCDS President

My friends and colleagues,

As the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, your SBVCDS Board is ready to support our membership by relaying pertinent information and providing a method for doctors and staff to communicate ideas and support each other through this crisis.

The California Dental Association is recommending that dentists practicing in California voluntarily suspend nonessential or non-urgent dental care for the next 14 days. This is a recommendation, not a mandate, intended to provide guidance during times of crisis. Many other healthcare provider associations have come out with statements to their members to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. Italy, Spain, France, and UK all have reported record deaths in past 24 hours making the Europe the new epicenter. We are taking drastic measures across our country and here in California based on these trends and other observations. I am hopeful that we will not see what we are witnessing in Europe, but as healthcare providers we must lead the way and prepare for such events proactively. 

The CDA’s Web site is an excellent resource for everyone in our industry: There you can get additional information about the CDA’s strong recommendation that dentists practicing in California voluntarily suspend nonessential or nonurgent dental care for the next 14 days. As always, it is expected that dentists will continue to be available as needed for emergency care and services. They have also created FAQs on the following topics:

  • Dental Office Closures
  • Infection Control
  • Patient Screening
  • Patient Treatment
  • Employees and Sick Leave

Please take time to view these links for helpful information:

We are all in this storm together and I am confident that our robust response today will result in better outcome in the near future. We will do our best to keep you informed with new updates and information. Please don’t hesitate to call with your questions and concerns.


Hessam Siavash, DDS, MD, PhD

and your SBVCDS Team