Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 31 on April 29 to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by limiting non-emergency dental procedures.
The order states that the Tennessee Board of Dentistry, Tennessee Dental Association and Tennessee Denta Hygienists’ Association are still working to develop appropriate guidelines to resume non emergency dental practices safely. Therefore, “in light of the continuing state of emergency to facilitate the response to COVID-19,” dental service providers “shall not perform any non-emergency dental or oral procedures and other elective procedures.”
Under this order, hygiene visits, cosmetic procedures and other elective procedures will not be performed. Emergency procedures with acute dental or oral needs may still be performed including treatment for pain, swelling, trauma or an abscess.
This Order applies to, but is not limited to, dentists, pediatric dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, periodontists, prosthodontists and endodontists.
In addition to slowing the spread of COVID-19, this Order also preserves personal protective equipment (PPE). On April 27, The American Dental Associated presented its Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit. The guidance recommends dental service providers should use the highest level of personal protective equipment available. Therefore, Order 31 also states “dental service providers and facilities must limit attendance to essential personnel in the rooms where surgeries and invasive procedures are being performed.”
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