Blog Post #1182 – Lack of PPE, Conflicting Guidelines Slow Reopening of Dental Clinics

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

A lack of personal protective equipment and conflicting guidelines for COVID-19 practices between dentists and dental hygienists are delaying the reopening of many practices, the association representing dentists said as the province began the second stage of its reopening plan in mid-June.

Dr. David Stevenson, a former President of the Ontario Dental Association who is now the head of the group’s return to practice task force, said the resumption of services – permitted by the government in late May – has been slow.

“We are getting access to a limited amount,” he said, adding that hospitals and long-term care homes are still getting priority access, which is appropriate. “I’m not going to say it’s a complete barrier to treatment, but it is still the major impact.”

“Conflicting guidelines for the resumption of practice from the colleges that regulate dentists and dental hygienists are also adding uncertainty to the reopening,” he said.

In mid-March, the province ordered all nonessential and elective health services to close reduce operations as COVID-19 cases increased.

But the restart guidelines from the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario and Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario set different standards for each profession.

The take different approaches to COVID-19 screening for patients and PPE use for dental hygienists and dentists, despite the fact that they work in the same offices and with the same patients.

My opinion

HRS Group Inc. is an instructor for fit testing (qualitative) and we’ve had a lot of business over the last few months. We have not witnessed any difference in the requirements between dental hygienists and dentists. The fit testing portion of PPE was exactly the same meeting the same exacting standards.

I would be interested to find out exactly what small differences there are between the two professions and see if HRS Group Inc. can help.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Qualitative Fit-testing’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259 We can also be reached at 

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.


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