For additional news and resources regarding COVID-19, visit ada.org/virus
April 24, 2020
Read the HDA's Statement and Suggested Guidance for a Safe Return to Work here.
April 8, 2020
Aloha HDA Members!
The HDA Board of Trustees, in alignment with ADA recommendations
and Federal and State mandates, has extended its recommendation, limiting dental treatment to urgent and emergent care, until April 30. This is because the number of confirmed cases in Hawaii have not yet peaked. The availability of quicker Covid 19 tests and the development of more effective preventive and therapeutic measures will eventually have a positive impact on our situation. At this time, patience is paramount.
On April 1, 2020, the ADA sent out interim guidelines and recommendations
to help dentists screen, evaluate and treat their patients, in the shadow of this pandemic. These guidelines and recommendations seem daunting at first glance; however, most of them are already part of normal dental office infection control procedures and protocols, and new innovations will be developed to further protect the dental team. As with past infectious disease outbreaks, our profession will adapt to this new “normal”.
We know that what you want most is to get back to work, and our efforts are focused on helping that to happen as soon as possible. We also recognize that your safety and that of your staff, family and community are the top priority, and we are striving to provide new resources to support you now and when you return to normal practice.
We remain committed to our message: that you, our valued dentists and the care you provide, are essential for community and public health. Temporary designations that suggest otherwise must be challenged, even as we make sacrifices for our communities. Our strength comes from our members speaking in one voice so yours is valued and appreciated.
Mahalo for your dedication to our profession and our community!
Wayne S. H. Leong, DDS
Hawaii Dental Association
March 16, 2020
Aloha HDA Members,
The Hawaii Dental Association (HDA), along with the American Dental Association (ADA), is actively monitoring the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, with guidance from the CDC and our Hawaii Department of Health. As the country and the world employ strategies to “flatten the curve,” and to conserve PPE, the HDA supports ADA’s recently released recommendation to postpone elective procedures.
As ADA members, you should have already received ADA’s email (March 16, 2020). Here is an excerpt:
“The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes the unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances dentists and all health care professionals face related to growing concern about COVID-19. The ADA is deeply concerned for the health and well-being of the public and the dental team.
In order for dentistry to do its part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the ADA recommends dentists nationwide postpone elective procedures for the next three weeks. Concentrating on emergency dental care will allow us to care for our emergency patients and alleviate the burden that dental emergencies would place on hospital emergency departments.
As health care professionals, it is up to dentists to make well-informed decisions about their patients and practices. The ADA is committed to providing the latest information to the profession in a useful and timely manner.”
Our HDA Board of Trustees has met, and encourages our members to heed this recommendation. If you are treating emergencies, please be extremely careful to follow, if not exceed, all appropriate recommended infection control measures. We do not make this recommendation lightly, as we are very aware of the impact to your patients, dental personnel and their families, your practice, and your families. The HDA will work with decision makers and others on behalf of our members to seek economic relief and to minimize the long-term impact on your offices. The ADA is already working at the federal level to advocate for relief for dental offices.
At this point, this is a recommendation from the ADA and HDA, not a mandate
. It is up to individual practices to determine whether to continue appointments beyond those that are emergencies or are medically necessary, based on your discretion and clinical judgement. At the time of this March 16th email, there are no mandatory restrictions specific to dentistry in Hawaii state. We will however, continue to monitor for any developments and recommendations, and will be sure to forward those onto you. Be sure you are reading all updates from both the ADA and HDA.
If you are seeing patients, here are some simple suggestions from others to prevent potential exposure:
- Pre-screen patients by phone prior to the visit by asking about recent travel history and current health. Specific COVID-19 symptoms are fever, coughing and shortness of breath. If the patient reports these symptoms, they should be referred to their primary care physician.
- When possible, ask patients to remain in their cars instead of coming into the waiting room. Notify them by cell phone when you are ready to see them.
- Minimize the number of patients in the reception area and maintain space between patients per CDC guidelines. Space out chairs in the waiting room and hallway.
- Take temperature of all patients immediately upon arrival.
- Have patients wash hands in the operatory and rinse with 1% hydrogen peroxide solution.
- Clean and disinfect public areas frequently, including door handles, chairs and bathrooms.
- Remove all reading materials and children’s toys/books from waiting rooms.
As you know, this situation continues to change, at times faster than we can get answers. We urge you to visit the CDC and ADA websites for regular updates:
We recognize that this is a very trying time for everyone, and that we are living in a new normal for some time. Thank you for your commitment to providing the highest level of care for Hawaii’s patients and the dental profession.
Stay tuned, and stay healthy,
The HDA Board of Trustees