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Updates to masking guidelines

Now that most public spaces are re-opening and relaxing masking rules, best practices for healthcare facilities are changing. The American Dental Association has provided updated masking guidelines for dental professionals based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including guidance for people who have been fully vaccinated. You can read the full fact sheet here: CDC COVID-19 PPE Screening FAQ.

Read on for an explanation of the new guidelines, mask resources, and more tips for staying safe in dental settings.

Do patients still need to mask for their dental appointments?

Yes. People who are fully vaccinated may now enter most public spaces without masks. However, all patients are still required to wear masks in healthcare settings, including dental offices. Masks are also still required on public transportation and transportation centers.

May dental health care professionals stop wearing masks?

Sometimes. In most cases, dental health care professionals who are fully vaccinated should continue to mask while in the workplace. However, they may hold in-person meetings and share space in break rooms unmasked. If any unvaccinated people are present, NIOSH-certified respirators or masks should be worn. See the CDC’s updated masking guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals for more information.

 

New research on double masking

The CDC recently released additional new research which suggests that wearing a surgical mask under a cloth mask offers substantially more protection than a single mask. Though this guidance may be adequately efficacious in most public spaces, medical facilities (especially dental settings) require a higher level of infection control considerations.

Therefore, dental health professionals are advised to follow guidance intended specifically for medical settings, which will help guarantee that the risk of disease transmission is minimized. The updated masking guidance for dental professionals states that face shields and NIOSH-certified respirators should be worn rather than cloth masks, even if layered on top of a surgical mask.

MediDent Supplies Reusable Medical Face Shield

More tips for staying safe in 2021

For more information on the ADA’s response to the updated CDC guidelines, visit ADA.org/virus. Thank you for choosing MediDent Supplies for your dental practice’s personal protective equipment needs.