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AADFA COVID-19 update: Dental Practice Restrictions return to Level 2

AADFA_ADMIN - Apr,25 ago

April 25, 2020

AADFA COVID-19 update:

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  • Dental Practice Restrictions return to Level 2
  • Non-Surgical facial rejuvenation procedures permissible, including facial injectables

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Following the statement by the Australian Prime Minister on 21 April 2020, in which it was stated that Dental Practices will shift down to Level 2 restrictions from 27 April 2020, AADFA has been inundated with enquiries from Member Dentists; non-member dental practitioners and the public seeking clarification on what this means for the provision of facial rejuvenation procedures, including facial injectables, within the dental practice.

As AADFA Member Dentists had the forethought to safely and responsibly incorporate these procedures into their practices for the benefit of their patients, many are now hoping to utilise this wise service diversification to be able to offer their patients thebroader range of interventions they seek during this time.

The following has been developed to provide guidance to AADFA Member Dentists about practising within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic when undertaking facial rejuvenation procedures, including facial injectables, in the dental practice.  This guidance is in line with advice provided by government agencies; regulators and other relevant bodies, though practitioners should also review those individual sources of information to ensure they practise in an acceptable and safe manner during these times. These sources include:

Dental Practitioners should also make themselves aware of any specific advisories or directives from their local State or Territory health departments, which may necessarily differ from general Federal advisories.  Ultimately, practitioners need to conduct their own assessment of their practice, balancing specific risks and benefits when catering to the needs of individual patients.

The AHPPC has announced that it 'supports the current recommendation by the Australian Dental Association (ADA) that dentists now move to level 2 restrictions, which will allow a broader range of interventions to be undertaken, including all dental treatments that are unlikely to generate aerosols or where aerosols generated have the presence of minimal saliva/blood due to the use of rubber dam. The ADA advises that dentists can now procure their own supply of PPE to enable this expansion'.

The Dental Board of Australia expects all dental practitioners to follow the AHPPC's advice, in addition to continuing to fulfil their obligations under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.  The Board has published well-established behaviours and values to provide a framework for ethical decision-making in a wide range of situations, including the Code of conduct, which provides general guidance on ‘minimising risk’.   It is each practitioners’ responsibility to personally assess the relevant risks and make decisions about how to treat your patients safely, in the interests of your patient, yourself, your staff, the patients of the practice and the public.

While the Managing COVID-19 guidelines published by the ADA are not Board-approved guidelines, the Board expects all dental practitioners to follow the AHPPC’s recommendation (as outlined in that ADA document) and apply its advice in their practice setting.

The key principle of level 2 restrictions is the provision of treatments that are unlikely to generate aerosols, even if those treatments are non-urgent.

As non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedures, including facial injectables, form a part of dental practice and do not generate aerosols, it is the position of AADFA that such procedures are possible for Members to perform under level 2 restrictions, in order to offer their patients thebroader range of interventions they may require, according to the needs of each individual.   

This is on condition that practices closely follow protocols mandated by the National Cabinet in accordance with the Australian Dental Association Managing COVID-19 Guidelines.

These protocols include using appropriate PPE, such as masks, during all procedures and adherence to additional infection control precautions including patient pre-screening (via telephone), using appropriate booking schedules to allow for social distancing, waiting room management, use of effective ABHR/hand-washing, and the use of pre-procedural mouthwash.

Non-surgical facial rejuvenation procedures AADFA deems possible under level 2 restrictions include:

  • Botulinum Toxin injections
  • Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Filler injections
  • Chemical Peels
  • Micro-needling
  • PDO Threads
  • Injection Lipolysis
  • Carboxy Therapy

However, Members are reminded that under Level 2 restrictions, non-urgent dental treatment, including facial rejuvenation procedures, should still be deferred for patients with clinical symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, or for those patients who meet current epidemiological screening criteria for medium or high-risk COVID-19. For each state and territory, this information is available at:

https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cdna-song-novel-coronavirus.htm

This pandemic is serious and not to be underestimated, but like you AADFA is determined to meet the issues calmly and responsibly, with confidence and transparency and we stand ready to assist our Members to the best of our ability through the coming period, helping them to restore clinical practice and normal business operations, as swiftly as possible to

AADFA would like to thank you Members for their understanding, co-operation and professionalism during these difficult and unpredictable times and we encourage you to please be kind, respectful and decent to one another.  Please let us know if you have any questions, or if we can assist in anyway.

AADFA