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!
Please refer to the menu options on the left for more info about fit testing resources.
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!
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.
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
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:
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
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
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
Santa Barbara - Ventura County Dental Society
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 cda.org/covid19 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Board of Directors and Society are here for you!
Your SBVCDS Team
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: https://www.cdc.gov/corona…/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
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
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: https://www.cda.org/covid-19. 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:
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