Ontario’s Oral Health Regulatory Colleges (OHC) representing CDTO, CDHO, CDO, and RCDSO consulted with a panel of subject matter experts in early July of 2022. The consultation focused on key requirements for aerosol mitigation including fallow times and enclosed operatories.
This has continued to be a joint effort with all the oral health regulatory Colleges so that there is consistent guidance across the professions.
As a result of this consultation and available evidence, we have updated our common guidance and reflected the changes in the CDTO’s COVID-19 guidance for RDTs. The key change for RDTs includes:
- Fallow time no longer being recommended or required, following aerosol-generating
procedures (AGPs) in oral healthcare settings.
Additionally, for dental hygienists and dentists, enclosed operatories are no longer recommended or required for patients who have screened or tested negative for COVID-19.
These changes reflect efforts to ensure precautions are evidence-based and do not impede access to care. We have also considered the evolution of the pandemic, changes in public health restrictions, and improved vaccination rates, as well as the experiences of jurisdictions who did not have these requirements.
At this time, the following provisions for AGPs remain:
If an aerosol will be generated on prostheses, devices, or items that have had direct contact to patients (e.g., saliva) who have screened or tested positive for COVID-19, the following precautionary measures must be met in dental laboratories:
- A closed dedicated space to contain the aerosols during the procedure
- The use of enhanced PPE (see Table 1 )
- Limit the number of people exposed to the aerosols during the procedure.
Notably, the guidance sets out the minimum standard. However, oral health care professionals can exceed the guidance if they wish.
The College will continue to monitor the public health indicators for COVID-19 and public health directions as the pandemic landscape shifts.
Below are the links for COVID-19 guidance documents of other oral health colleges:
– Dentists: COVID-19: Managing Infection Risks During In-Person Dental Care
– Dental Hygienists: College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario (CDHO) Revised IPAC Guidance: COVID-19
– Denturists: COVID-19 Guidance