harris 041420DOLTON – State Senator Napoleon Harris, III (D-Harvey) is pleased to learn the Illinois Department of Public Health has updated its guidance on allowing dental providers to resume routine oral and dental care beginning this week.

“Being on a Stay At Home Order for nearly two months may have resulted in many people needing oral care,” Harris said. “IDPH allowing dentist’s office to reopen for routine care is a step forward and shows understanding that oral treatment is an essential service.”  

IDPH says to yield good procedural outcomes, oral health providers should consider their patient's health care needs, assess the risks and benefits of any procedures, and appropriately screen patients for COVID-19. Patients will need to be symptom free and have their temperature taken. Dentists will need to address their use of masks, face guards, and suction devices.

“Dental offices will have to follow health guidelines by providing their employees with PPE,” Harris said. “It’s important necessary precautions are taken into account for the patient and employee before dental offices reopen their doors.”  

Dentists gave up their PPE in the early days of the pandemic for hospitals, first responders and nursing homes. Now they have difficulty getting what they need to resume dental care. 

“Patients have been waiting to get back to their dentists and, even though now we have the green light from the IDPH, we are in need of PPE to meet their guidelines,” said Dave Marsh, Director of Governmental Affairs with the Illinois State Dental Society. “Of course, we recognize the highest priorities for PPE in health care settings, but we will be seeking a higher priority for masks and face shields for our profession.”

More details from IDPH are here.