Level 3 Dental Practice Restrictions Across Australia
We hope you and your family are safe and well during these challenging times. We would like to update you on the latest restrictions that have been imposed on dental practices across Australia and how this affects you as our patient.
The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, the key decision-making committee for health emergencies, has recommended that all dental practices in Australia implement COVID-19 Level 3 Dental Practice Restrictions.
These guidelines are based on a scenario where COVID-19 infection is mostly well contained, but community transmission is increasing. Level 3 (“restrict”) is enacted when data shows that COVID-19 is not contained.
As such, it is critical that we, as dental practitioners use our professional judgement and moral responsibility to protect the welfare of the entire population (including our team) by avoiding all care that is not urgent in nature. Reducing the volume and extent of dental practice will limit the spread of infection. This will also assist to reduce the surge demand on acute health facilities and supplies. This translates into fewer lives lost and a faster recovery period.
Dental Practice Restrictions
What does Level 3 (“restrict”) mean in terms of your dental treatment?
For patients who do not meet epidemiological/clinical criteria for COVID-19
We will need to defer all routine dental treatment. This means deferring:
- All routine examinations (check-ups), scale and clean appointments.
- Routine restorative care such as fillings.
- Dental implant placement or restoration of an implant.
- Preparations for crowns and bridges, veneers.
- Non-emergency orthodontic treatment
If a patient is not in pain and does not have an infection or dental concern with serious medical implications, then they can be seen in several weeks/months when the pandemic has been controlled.
For patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection
Treatment should be referred to a clinic with appropriate facilities and equipment or deferred.
What dental services can we performed in Level 3 (“restrict”):
Only dental treatments that do not generate aerosols, or where treatments generating aerosols are limited to:
- Management of patients with acute dental pain e.g. root canal therapy or dental extractions.
- Management of significantly damaged upper front teeth e.g. due to trauma.
- Soft tissue pathology e.g. ulcers.
- Management of complex medically compromised patients with dental concerns which may compromise their systemic disease.
- Management of those at a higher risk of rapid progression of dental disease due to socio-economic or cultural factors.
- Management of patients referred by a medical practitioner for medically necessary dental care.
Because many of our patients are having orthodontic treatment using Invisalign, we can still look after our patients safely and we want to let you know that we have NOT CLOSED our doors.
Our dentists need to use their professional judgement and moral responsibility to protect the welfare of the population by avoiding all care that is not urgent in nature and as such each patient’s appointment will be addressed on an individual basis.
As we will have to defer many appointments for procedures that produce aerosols, please expect a call from one of our team members, in the next few weeks.
Our team members will call to reschedule any appointments that are restricted under the Level 3 guidelines and they will move your appointment forward by 4 to 8 weeks.
Should the restrictions be downgraded to level 2 or 1, we will call and move the appointments to an earlier date as soon as we are advised of the changes.