Message from the   MDA President: ADA Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit

Dr. Brad Rand

April 27, 2020

Dear MDA members,

I hope you saw the newly released ADA Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit. It is extensive and comprehensive. I was able to review this document before it was released to the general membership and I find it to be reassuring and reasonable, extensive and comprehensive. I urge you to read it and then to read it again and become familiar with the recommendations and strategies to mitigate risk.

The guidance is interim by name and by nature. One thing that I can promise you is that it will evolve, and you will need to continue to monitor my messages as well as ADA/CDC communication to stay up-to-date.

There are many links that are embedded within the document that you should also follow and learn. The links provide additional insight not contained within this single toolkit. For example, what should you do if a staff member contracts COVID-19 and tests positive? This link is found on page 10 of the toolkit. This is but one example; you would be wise to learn this toolkit in its entirety.

"When can I open?"
A common question that we are getting is "When can/should I open for routine dentistry?" Some offices are planning to start seeing non-emergency patients on May 4th, and in the absence of any further extension from the governor that may be technically possible. I advise you as your president to consider the following as you make your decision about when your office will open for routine dentistry:

  • Have there been any recent extensions of executive orders or any Maine Board of Dental Practice communication that would prevent me from performing routine dentistry?
  • Am I satisfied with my office's and staff's implementation of ADA/OSHA/CDC recommendations?
  • Have I properly trained or assured training of all staff on applicable PPE and administrative measures to reduce the spread of infection. Have I reviewed the Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit with staff?
  • Have I properly communicated to my patients their risks and the steps I have taken to reduce those risks?
  • Have I sourced the the highest level of recommended PPE that is available to me and is my office prepared to don, use and doff it properly?

Neither I nor the MDA staff will tell you when you should open. That is a personal decision that I hope you take the time to carefully consider. You may wish to open partially or at a reduced schedule at first to allow time to accommodate to office modifications and procedural changes for you and your staff.

Lastly, as you communicate with your staff, some of them are going to have some fears about practicing again. Some may be founded, others may not. I truly feel that as you go through the Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit with them, many of those questions will be answered. In addition to the Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit, there are webinars and videos on  that are applicable to you and your staff. They are factual and prepared by experts. 

You have some homework to do! I hope to have some more guidance for you in the coming days.

Yours in preparation,

Dr. Brad Rand
Maine Dental Association
P.O. Box 215
Manchester, ME 04351
(207) 622-7900