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ADA Board of Trustees: Dentistry is essential health care

The American Dental Association Board of Trustees has adopted an ad interim policy stating dentistry is essential health care to help guide advocacy for the dental profession during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This policy was created to recognize that dentistry is an essential service. Whether it's the current pandemic, a future epidemic or a natural disaster in a particular area, this policy recognizes the need for people to be able to continue to access the full range of dental services," ADA President Chad P. Gehani said. "Doing so will help people maintain their oral health and contribute to their overall health. Oral health is integral to overall health — staying well often depends on having access to health care, which includes dental treatment."

American Dental Association Responds to World Health Organization Recommendation: Dentistry is Essential Health Care

The American Dental Association (ADA) respectfully yet strongly disagrees with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation to delay “routine” dental care in certain situations due to COVID-19.


“Oral health is integral to overall health. Dentistry is essential health care,” states ADA President Chad P. Gehani, D.D.S. “Dentistry is essential health care because of its role in evaluating, diagnosing, preventing or treating oral diseases, which can affect systemic health.”

Both the ADA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) then issued interim guidance for dental professionals related to COVID-19. The ADA’s guidance calls for the highest level of PPE available—masks, goggles and face shields

7 Medical Appointments You Shouldn't Skip Right Now

  1. Cancer Screenings

  2. Your Child's Doctor's Appointment

  3. Prenatal Visits

  4. Chronic Condition Check-Ins

  5. Blood Tests

  6. A Dentist Visit

  7. A Trip to the ER

HPI: 99% of dental practices were open mid-July

“We as a profession are known for our ability to cope and deal with adversity,” said Dr. Norbo during the webinar. “We are up against a real battle but there is no doubt in my mind that we’re going to win.”

“The ADA is proud to provide information that supports all dentists in this new normal,” said Dr. Gehani in the webinar. “We will continue to work hard to lead dentistry through the current crisis.” 

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