Message from the  MDA President: Board of Dental Practice Guidance & Important PPE Announcement


Dr. Brad Rand
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May 1, 2020

Dear Members,
 
Thank you to the many members who have reached out with support and comments.

Many members have reached out sharing their frustration about mobilizing their offices to safely open today, and then having to return to emergency treatment only. I share your frustration. The Executive committee, the MDA staff, and the entire Board of Directors are exploring options for a pathway forward for dentistry in Maine.

As you probably have seen, the Maine Board of Dental Practice released (interim) guidance that mirrors what that we communicated to you on Wednesday that only emergency treatment should be performed based upon the CDC guidelines that the governor has mandated for dental health care professionals. 

The US CDC published recommendations for best practice; however, because the governor has applied these to our conditional opening, they have effectively moved from guidance into law. 
 
Many of you are seeking for some way to communicate your desire and ability to return safely to practice. To that effect, let me provide some guidance for you.
 
1. Assure that you are sourcing your necessary PPE. Many dentists are sourcing PPE from local Maine companies, some are ordering from overseas (that are on the FDA approved list). The MDA has also just posted a list of PPE Vendors that are selling face shields and masks. You can access that list on the MDA Coronavirus Resources page here

2. We recommend that dental practices review the CDC guidance on counterfeit respirators   before making any purchases . The guidance can be found here .

3. I also recommend that you communicate with your dental distributor often to find out when PPE is becoming more available. I feel that this will be one of the best things that you can do for your practice as you seek to be ready to open and it will provide a powerful message that we are ready as a profession. Please see below for an important PPE announcement!

4.  Review the ADA toolkit with your team and listen and answer questions. You may wish to provide a infection control refresher training, and especially if you have any team member that has not been educated on infection control (unlicensed employees etc.) please use the ADA webinars or other trusted source to educate about infection control, hand washing, PPE etc. The ADA toolkit can be found here.

5. After you have all of these above, please use the template letter provided to communicate to the governor's office that you have the necessary PPE and have provided the training for your staff and that you are ready to re-open. You can send a message to the Governor here: 

I understand that you have a lot of frustration with so many unknowns. Please use your professionalism and knowledge to make your point, not your anger. We can be firm but tactful. 

See template letter here.  

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Important Announcement:
Masks for Maine Dentists



We also wish to make an important announcement that the Maine Dental Association Charitable Foundation has donated $50,000 specifically for the purpose of procuring the necessary PPE for dental practices to re-open safely. The funds will be used in total to purchase N95 or equivalent masks for MDA members.
 
No action on your part is required to receive these masks. More information about distribution will be forthcoming. They may not arrive for a couple weeks as we have not yet purchased the masks so please do not depend solely on these; however, they will be a benefit to you and your staff. 
 
We thank the Charitable Foundation and ask that you be generous in helping to replenish these funds in subsequent years.  

Enjoy the weekend. Stay safe.

Sincerely,


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