HARRISBURG – At the strong urging of Senator Scott Martin (R-13), the Wolf Administration reversed a decision on Thursday that temporarily prevented dentists from serving patients who have a dental emergency.
In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Wolf Administration created new restrictions that prevented dentists from treating emergency patients unless their facilities included a negative pressure room and other accommodations that very few dentists have.
On Thursday, some of these restrictions were relaxed and new guidance was issued to protect the health and safety of both dentists and their patients.
“Any person who has experienced a serious dental health emergency knows how excruciating the pain can be, and if left untreated, these issues can quickly become life-threatening. The previous guidance left the vast majority of these patients with nowhere to turn,” Martin said. “I am relieved that the Wolf Administration listened to our concerns and created a better policy that allows dentists to treat emergency patients with the proper safeguards in place.”
The new guidelines include numerous positive steps dental healthcare providers can take to reduce the risks posed by COVID-19, including pre-interview screening of patients and the use of personal protective equipment for treatment of all emergency dental emergencies. Additional procedures are also required for patients who are known or suspected to have COVID-19, such as avoiding the use of aerosol, limiting the amount of personnel in contact with the patient and implementing additional disinfecting measures and discarding protective equipment properly after treatment.
CONTACT: Terry Trego (717) 787-6535