Dentists issue guidelines to avoid COVID-19 spread

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 18 2020 02:48 PM

MANILA -- The Philippine Dental Association on Wednesday asked dentists to observe a "high level of precaution" when handling patients as health workers fight the spread of COVID-19.

Dentists, and all members of their staff should wear the prescribed personal protective equipment including protective eyewear, surgical mask, disposable caps and disposable gloves, the PDA said.

“All patients should be treated as potentially infective COVID-19 carriers. As such, high level of precaution should be exercised. If an individual exhibiting symptoms of possible COVID-19 arrives in your dental practice, patient must be immediately referred to seek medical treatment,” the PDA said in its COVID-19 guidelines.

Additional guidelines include the prohibition on bringing scrub suits or any surgical clothing outside the clinic setting. Used scrub suits must be placed in seal proof containers until it is brought home for washing, the PDA said.


Dentists should screen patients by phone before confirming an appointment to avoid close contact with persons infected with COVID-19. Telephone screening may include asking for photos of the reported dental problem.

The PDA advised dentists to defer for the meantime, elective procedures such as cleaning, fluoride treatment, restoration of asymptomatic lesions, orthodontic adjustment, and teeth whitening.

Immediate concerns such as pain, infection, oral-maxillofacial conditions, and trauma needing urgent procedures however must be addressed by dentists, it said.

Should the patient meet the requirements for urgent dental care, the PDA advises dentists to require them to fill up a screening form, including all of their companions. No-contact screening may also be performed.

Patients with temperatures higher than 37.3 degrees Celsius and with respiratory disease should be referred to the hospital immediately.

The public is urged to stay at home for the meantime to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.