Maryland’s dentists are being advised to suspend all non-essential procedures for at least three weeks during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Maryland State Dental Association said its suggestion followed the guidance of the American Dental Association and the Maryland Department of Health.
“In light of the rapidly growing developments regarding official responses to the coronavirus, the Maryland State Dental Association recommends all dental practices voluntarily suspend all non-essential and non-urgent dental care for at least 3 weeks,” Marlene Shevenell, the association’s president, said in a statement. “This recommendation reflects our continuing concern for the safety, health and well-being of our patients, our staff and our dentists. The fluid activities at the state and federal levels suggest the possibility that more stringent and mandated restrictions are possible. The MSDA recommends promptly making provisions for further disruptions to our dental practices in the near future. We will continue to closely monitor the situation, provide updates and statements as the situation evolves.”
The recommendation for dentists follows the moves of most local health systems to cancel their elective procedures.
In addition to moves by Johns Hopkins Health System, University of Maryland Medical System, LifeBridge Health, Greater Baltimore Medical Center and Luminis Health to postpone elective surgeries earlier this week, two new systems announced their postponement decisions Tuesday.
MedStar Health and Kaiser Permanente said Tuesday that they would also move to postpone those non-emergency cases. MedStar’s decision takes effect Thursday.