NLDA Clarifies WHO Considerations to Delay Non-essential Oral Health Care are Not Relevant for Canada, but for Countries with Widespread COVID-19 Outbreaks

The Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Association (NLDA) has reviewed the considerations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding dental settings. The WHO considerations reflect similar considerations that were applied in Newfoundland and Labrador during the peak infection period this Spring. After review the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) and the NLDA interprets that the guidance to be intended for high-risk countries that have alarming rates of COVID-19 infections and community spread, such as the United States, Brazil and Mexico. Canada, including Newfoundland and Labrador, does not fit this profile.

Canada takes its guidance from Health Canada, who in turn works closely with provincial health officers. As of August 12, 2020, 1 out of 62 Americans have contracted COVID-19. In Canada, 1 out of 312 Canadians have contracted COVID-19. In terms of active infection rates in the U.S., 1 out of 2000 individuals are not fully recovered from COVID-19, while in Canada, it is closer to 1 out of 8000 individuals.

Dentists are experts in infection control and that dentists have deployed extra precautions as per orders from NLs Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald and the Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Board - which align with the guidance now provided by the WHO and informed by the transmission rates in our province.

Our province is in Alert Level 2, but we continue to follow the guidance of our public health officials and strictly stick to proper safety procedures to lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission, in and out of the office. That includes physical distancing, wearing masks and screening.

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Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Association
1 Centennial Street
Suite 102
Mount Pearl, NL
A1N 0C9
Phone: 709 579-2362
Fax: 709 579-1250
Email: nfdental@nfld.net