Status of the Iowa Dental Board Guidelines for the Safe Transition Back to Practice
Since May 8, 2020, the Board Guidelines for the Safe Transition Back to Practice have been mandatory for dental offices, pursuant to the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency issued by the Governor. The provision of the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency that required dental offices to comply with the Board’s Guidelines has expired. Consequently, dental offices are no longer under a strict mandate to comply with the Board’s Guidelines related to COVID-19 precautions or transmission. Dental offices are encouraged to follow the CDC’s Guidance for Dental Settings. The Board’s Guidelines were derived from the CDC’s Guidance and dental offices may continue to follow the Board’s Guidelines to meet the standard of care. The standard precautions for preventing and controlling infectious diseases that are required or recommended by the CDC’s Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings (2003) continue to be mandatory, as they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Board enforces applicable laws and rules using a complaint-based system. If the Board receives a complaint related to COVID-19 precautions or transmission at a dental office, it will be evaluated based on the prevailing standard of care, which is the care that a reasonably prudent practitioner would provide under the same or similar circumstances. A practitioner who complies with the CDC’s Guidance will be deemed to have met the standard of care and will not face any Board action in response to such a complaint. A complaint against a practitioner who chooses not to comply with the CDC’s Guidance will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if the standard of care was met and may face Board action if the standard of care was not met.
The Board will issue press releases and post pertinent information on the website regarding any major updates to the CDC’s Guidance for Dental Settings.
Thank you for all you have done during these difficult times to ensure that Iowans continue to safely access oral health care.