If you’re hoping to get your teeth checked anytime soon, you’ll have to wait a while longer.
The BC Dental Association (BCDA) is advising patients that dental offices in the provinces will not be reopening in the coming days, despite the province’s plan to allow medically related services to resume operations come May 19 if health and safety guidelines are in place.
“Full hygiene care, will be introduced gradually and when it is safe to do so,” said the BCDA in a release.”As evidenced in other provinces, there is no singular approach to restarting services.”
Plans for BC “will consider the different circumstances in various areas, including access to required personal protective equipment (PPE).”
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The association notes that the province is currently working with regulators, including the College of Dental Surgeons of BC, to create appropriate guidelines for dental offices to resume operations in the safest way possible.
In a statement on May 19, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry noted, “Direction is going to be provided, and we’re working on that with the regulatory authorities, the colleges for all the regulated health professions, on incremental changes and the guidance they need to move forward over the next couple of weeks.”
BCDA spokesperson, Dr. Alastair Nicoll said detail visits will look “different” once offices are deemed safe to open.
“For example, chairs, magazines and toys will be removed from waiting rooms, and
the receptionist may be sitting behind a plexiglass screen,” he said in a statement.
“Patients will also be asked different health screening questions when making their appointment and on the day of their appointment; and asked to clean their hands before and after their appointment. These and other changes will be communicated by your dental office once the new guidelines are published.”
Dental offices in BC have been limited to emergency care and teledentistry appointments since March 23.
If patients are experiencing detail emergencies or concerns, the BCDA suggests they reach out to their dentist directly for further direction.