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Home > News & Events > Resumption of dental services in Phase Two of Post Curcuit Breaker

Resumption of dental services in Phase Two of Post Curcuit Breaker

From 19 June 2020, all ongoing and new dental procedures can be continued with proper safety measures in place. In this new phase (Phase Two), the goal is to ensure that efforts taken to curb community transmission of COVID-19 during the Circuit Breaker period and Phase One of reopening, are sustained.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has instructed healthcare providers to continue prioritising urgent and emergency dental care, followed by ongoing dental care that was previously postponed, and management of time-sensitive cases that are likely to lead to higher clinical risk or potential complications if left further untreated. Cases with medically indicated complaints should be prioritised over aesthetic cases.

Dental clinics are to resume dental procedures with guidance to minimise aerosol generation and are advised to see patients by appointment basis. A mandatory 15-minute interval will be instituted before a dentist can proceed to see the next patient in the same treatment room, regardless of whether a non-aerosol or aerosol procedure is carried out by the dentist. To reduce crowding in common areas such as waiting and registration areas, patients may continue to be accompanied by one person as far as possible. Patients and accompanying visitors should keep a distance of one metre apart from each other within the clinic premises.

Patients and accompanying visitors will need to be screened at all visits and are required to wear a mask1 at all times within the clinic premises. They are also required to practice appropriate hand hygiene upon entering the clinic premises and upon completion of treatment and leaving the treatment area/clinic premises.

Patients holding the CHAS, Merdeka Generation (MG) or Pioneer Generation (PG) card should check with their dental clinics on the procedures which are claimable under CHAS, prior to the treatment.

Dental clinics are also advised to provide more information to vulnerable groups of patients prior to their visit so that they and their caregivers can be aware of the risks and preventive measures to take to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 infection.

Vulnerable Groups 

As more information emerges about COVID-19 infections, there has been further indication of groups who face greater health risks in the event of a COVID-19 infection. Greater precautions should be taken for such individuals, in keeping with existing safe management measures.

Such persons include:

a. Persons who are aged 60 and above2;

b. Patients who are immunocompromised or have concurrent medical conditions such as obesity (BMI > 31), hypertension, diabetes, chronic heart and lung diseases, kidney diseases on dialysis, hypercoagulable states, cancer, or patients on drugs that cause immunosuppression.

Persons who are part of the groups identified above should take greater care to avoid exposure to COVID-19 infection. They should pay special attention to MOH’s health advisories, to practise a high level of personal hygiene habits with frequent hand washing with soap and water. They should also comply with safe distancing and other infection prevention and control measures e.g. use of masks, avoiding crowds and avoiding close contact with others who are unwell. These individuals should continue to take medications for any underlying health conditions exactly as prescribed, go for regular vaccinations based on clinical indication, and seek medical attention promptly if feeling unwell.

Employers and caregivers for at-risk persons/groups should support them to adhere to the above advice.

1 Minimally a reusable mask 

2 While persons of age 60 and above are most susceptible to poorer clinical outcomes in the event of a COVID-19 infection, persons aged between 50 and 60 years old are also considered to be at higher risk of developing severe disease from COVID-19 infection, relative to younger age groups.