Dental Practice FAQs

Dental Practice FAQs

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March 20, 2020: Summary of Current COVID-19 Information and Recommendations

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COVID-19 Emergency Care Q&A


Get answers about the ADA’s interim guidance for minimizing the risk of transmission while performing emergency and urgent dental care.

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KDA News Updates & Notices

Please visit our Popular Topics page for more information on current issues, such as radiation control guidelines, amalgam waste disposal compliance, in-office dental plans, and more!

UPDATE: KDHE Extends “Emergency Treatment Only” Recommendation Until April 17

Late in the day on Friday, March 27, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) posted a new recommendation for dentists to “temporarily postpone nonessential treatment until April 17 or until such time that the COVID-19 crisis has ceased.”
The new directive by KDHE provides guidance regarding dental office procedures, infection control, and qualifying emergency procedures. See the entire KDHE recommendation below.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during these unprecedented times. For questions related to this guidance, please contact KDHE Bureau of Oral Health Director, Dr. Dayna Brinckman, at

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has also created a special website ( and hotline (866-534-3463) to address concerns and answers questions about COVID-19. 

KDHE Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Update

March 27, 2020
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is responding to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our state. While investigations to learn more about the virus are ongoing, workers and employers should review their health and safety procedures to help prevent exposure to the virus.
The CDC has issued recommendations for Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings . The recommendations provide information about how to limit germs entering a facility, the isolation of symptomatic patients, and how to protect healthcare personnel.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Bureau of Oral Health, recommends all dentists to implement a plan to temporarily postpone all non-essential procedures.
For this situation, “non-essential procedure” means a dental procedure that is not an emergency or trauma-related procedures where postponement would significantly impact the health, safety, and welfare of the patient as determine by a licensed dental professional.
At a minimum: any cosmetic or aesthetic procedures (such as veneers, teeth bleaching, or cosmetic bonding); any routine hygiene appointments; any orthodontic procedures that do not relieve pain or infection, do not restore oral function, or are not trauma-related; initiation of any crowns, bridges, or dentures that do not relieve pain or infection, do not restore oral function, or are not trauma-related; any periodontal plastic surgery; any extractions of asymptomatic non-carious teeth; and any recall visits for periodontally healthy patients.
If a covered facility that performs dental procedures chooses to remain open, its plan must exclude from postponement, emergency or trauma-related procedures where postponement would significantly impact the health, safety, and welfare of the patient.
Dentists should proceed with treatment if the patient is in pain, if infection is present, or if non-treatment will severely inhibit normal function of a patient’s teeth and mouth or negatively impact their health in the next three to six months. Patients who have received recent treatment requiring the removal of sutures would also be considered appropriate for treatment.
All other treatments should be delayed until April 17, 2020 or until the COVID-19 crisis has ceased. 

Treatment of Emergency Cases

  • Refer to What Constitutes A Dental Emergency in the KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center.
  • Follow CDC guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings
  • Use rubber dams and high-volume saliva ejectors.
  • Use surgical masks, face shields, goggles, gloves and gowns when working with high or low speed handpiece
  • As a prophylactic measure, have your patient rinse with 1% hydrogen peroxide prior to procedure, per guidance from the American Dental Association
 Consider the following additional measures:
  • Use phone triage for all upcoming emergent appointments.
  • If patient is symptomatic with symptoms consistent with COVID19, which includes measured fever of 100 or more and lower respiratory symptoms including cough or shortness of breath, refer them to their medical provider – persons reporting symptoms should not walk into providers without first calling their office.
  • Have a scripted questionnaire for your staff before scheduling appointments and prior to any procedure.
  • Establish a precheck triage to measure and record temperature of every staff and patient.
  • Take measures to prevent over-crowding in the waiting areas.
  • Stagger appointment times to reduce waiting room exposure.
  • Limit access to waiting room use to patients and guardian/caregiver only.
  • Remove all magazines/toys/books from the waiting room.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces often each day, including waiting areas, door handles, chairs and bathrooms.​

Information Regarding PPE

Businesses and organizations are urged to donate personal protective equipment (PPE) by contacting your county emergency managers. This is an unprecedented public health disaster, and stocks of personal protective equipment for health care providers are being used rapidly.
Any organizations that have extra PPE supplies that aren't immediately needed should consider donating them to help those on the front line of this disease. Any type of health care PPE will be welcomed, especially gloves, gowns, eye protection, and masks. Local emergency management officials will work to address needs locally and beyond.
To donate PPE, please contact your county emergency managers .
Guidance is rapidly changing as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds. Please check the KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center for the latest updates.

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Urgent Update to KDA Statement on COVID-19; ADA Calls Upon Dentists to Postpone Elective Procedures for the Next Three Weeks

The Kansas Dental Association is closely following the situation regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19), including monitoring guidance and messages from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among others. 
On March 16, 2020 the ADA released a statement calling upon dentists to postpone elective procedures:

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.

View the full statement and view the latest information at

The ADA recommendation has been made out of an abundance of caution during this historic outbreak of COVID-19 to "flatten the curve” in order to slow the spread of the virus by protecting both dental staff and patients and conserving medical resources.
The KDA has noted that the ADA has not identified a start date or specific procedures to be avoided or performed. As such, the KDA would advise that dentists implement the new recommendation at the first feasible opportunity in their office. Additionally, the ADA recommendation allows for the professional judgment and knowledge of the dentist working with the patient to be used to identify appropriate emergency treatment in a dentist patient relationship.
The KDA continues to encourage dentists working to provide emergency dental care to exceed normal infection control procedures and following all KDHE, CDC, and FDA guidelines.

Dental offices should:
  • Evaluate patients with a detailed questionnaire/conversation prior to treatment about flu like symptoms, travel abroad for self and family/friends, and use a temporal thermometer to take their temperature. 
  • Follow KDHE self-quarantine guidelines and postpone all treatment for fourteen days for all patients who have:
  • Traveled to a state with known widespread community transmission (currently California, New York, and Washington state) on or after March 15.
  • Visited Eagle, Summit, Pitkin, and Gunnison counties in Colorado within the past week.
  • Traveled on a cruise ship on or after March 15. Also people who have previously been told by Public Health to quarantine because of their cruise ship travel should finish out their quarantine.
  • Traveled internationally on or after March 15. Also people who have previously been told by Public Health to quarantine because of their international travel should finish out their quarantine.
  • Received notification from public health officials (state or local) that you are a close contact of a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19. You should quarantine at home for 14 days since your last contact with the case. (A close contact is defined as someone who has been closer than 6 feet for more than 10 minutes while the patient is symptomatic.)
  • Use of rubber dam isolation and high volume suction to limit aerosol in treatment procedures.
  • Use of 1% hydrogen peroxide rinse prior to examination of the oral cavity by the patient to reduce microbial load.
  • Consider having patients wait in their cars instead of the waiting areas to prevent inadvertent spread of the virus (call patient when surgical area is ready for treatment).
  • Consider staggering appointment times to reduce waiting room exposure.
  • Limit access to waiting room use to only patients. Accompanying individuals have to wait in their respective transportation.
  • Remove all magazines, toys, etc. from waiting area to prevent contamination.
For your reference, the ADA has created an FAQ section addressing various infection control issues, including the use of PPE. For additional information, please visit the ADA Coronavirus Resource Center for Dentists.  
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has also created a special website ( and hotline (866-534-3463) to address concerns and answers questions about COVID-19.
As you know, this is a rapidly evolving situation. The ADA/KDA will make any new information from the CDC, KDHE, or other organizations available to members immediately.

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​KDHE and KSU Remind Dentists of Upcoming Amalgam Rule, Require One-Time Compliance Report From Dental Offices*

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment ​(KDHE) and Kansas State University Pollution Prevention Institute (KSU PPI) have partnered to help dentists prepare for the upcoming compliance date of the EPA's new amalgam rule. 

More information on compliance in Kansas is available on the KSU PPI web site

*Dental offices who do not discharge to a publicly owned treatment work (POTW) with a pretreatment program must submit a one-time compliance report to the Kansas Small Business Environmental Assistance Program by October 12, 2020

Check here to see if your city has a pretreatment program and who you would need to contact for further information. 

The EPA requires amalgam separators to achieve at least a 95% removal efficiency. The EPA final rule on amalgam separators went into effect on July 14, 2017, and the date for compliance is July 14, 2020

The report can be submitted online, emailed to,or mailed to 2323 Anderson Ave, Ste 300 in Manhattan, KS 66502.

​Contact information for KDHE and our local EPA office is listed below.

KDHE Industrial Programs Section
Bureau of Water
Steve Caspers, Pretreatment Specialist

Environmental Protection Agency
Region 7 (KS, NE, IA, MO)
Paul Marshall, Pretreatment Specialist

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CDC UPDATE: Data Suggests Lung Injury Cases Have Declined Since Peak in September 2019

​The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on January 9, 2020 that, based on syndromic data on emergency department visits, cases of the e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) have been declining since a peak in September. The outbreak began in June 2019. 

Laboratory data supports previous findings that vitamin E acetate is closely associated with EVALI. Vitamin E acetate is used as an additive in the production of e-cigarette, or vaping, products. 

​Health care providers should encourage patients NOT to use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC, particularly from informal sources like friends, or family, or in-person or online dealers. 

Based on the findings on EVALI patient rehospitalization and death, CDC has updated its guidance to clinicians to minimize these outcomes. Rapid recognition by health care providers of patients with EVALI and an increased understanding of treatment considerations could reduce morbidity and mortality associated with this injury.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has reported that 2 Kansans have died from vaping related illnesses since September 10, 2019. Kansas currently has 23 probable/confirmed vaping related cases, including the 2 deaths.

As this investigation continues, Kansas dentists should report possible cases of EVALI to ​KDHE for further investigation. If EVALI is suspected, a detailed history of the substances used, the sources of products, duration and frequency of use, and the devices used and how they are used should be obtained.

For assistance with managing patients suspected of illness related to recreational, illicit, or other drugs, call your local poison control center at: 

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ADA Releases Statement on Study in JAMA Pediatrics

On Monday, August 19, 2019 the American Dental Association (ADA) released a statement in response to a recently published study linking maternal ingestion of fluoridated water during pregnancy to lower IQ scores in children. 

The ADA remains committed to fluoridation of public water supplies as the single most effective public health measure to help prevent tooth decay.

This commitment is shared by many national and international organizations, including the World Health Organization, US Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.  

Public health policy is based on a collective weight of scientific evidence. The ADA is aware of a new study conducted in Canada in which its authors reviewed maternal exposure to fluoride in pregnancy.

We welcome this and further scientific study of the issue to see if the findings can be replicated with methods that demonstrate more conclusive evidence."

Read the full news release at

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KDHE Radiation Control Program: Enforcement of Handheld X-ray Device Regulations Began September 1

Radiation has been a hot topic among KDA members over the past year, due to increased dental office inspections and new requirements regarding handheld X-ray units that took effect on September 1, 2019

In an effort to help our members, the KDA sat down with representatives from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Radiation Control Program to discuss ways we could better inform dentists of the responsibilities in their dental offices, pertaining to radiation.

View a variety of resources pertaining to proper protection, portable X-ray equipment, dental noncompliance issues, and an explanation of dental regulations at

If you have questions about radiation regulations or an inspection, contact the KDHE Radiation Control Program at 785-296-1560 or

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UPDATE: ADA Sets Record Straight on Status of Petition to FDA Regarding SmileDirectClub

The American Dental Association (ADA) believes the public has a right to accurate information concerning the status of its pending citizen petition submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about SmileDirectClub, LLC’s direct-to-consumer plastic teeth aligner business.

SmileDirectClub’s (SDC’s) inaccurate public statements that the ADA’s petition has been “shut down” or “dismissed” may deter customers who have experienced clinical problems in connection with SDC’s aligner “treatment therapy” from reporting their negative experiences to the FDA.  

SDC’s public misstatements, including in its press release on October 4, 2019 are apparently based on a May 30, 2019 letter from the FDA to the ADA. The letter, which can be viewed at the citizen petition landing page, did not reject or dismiss any substantive aspect of the ADA’s citizen petition.

The ADA submitted its citizen petition and a complaint letter to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection out of concern for public safety and customer recourse in the event of negative outcomes from SDC’s orthodontic “treatment therapy.” Plastic teeth aligners are designated by the FDA as a Class II medical device requiring a prescription. The ADA believes SDC is placing the public at risk by knowingly evading the FDA’s “by prescription only” restriction. 

The FDA’s MedWatch voluntary reporting form may be used by both consumers and health care professionals to report poor clinical outcomes associated with medical devices, including plastic teeth aligners. The FTC also offers consumers an online form to report complaints about unfair and deceptive business practices on its website.

For more patient information about direct-to-consumer dentistry, visit the ADA’s consumer website

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