Keeping Injured Workers’ Dental Care a Priority Despite Covid-19 Pandemic

Leon Levy

Tampa, FL (EZ Dental Care)- Recently, an article was published by the American Dental Association arguing that the recommendation outlined by the World Health Organization to delay “routine” dental care may be posing a dangerous disservice to dental patients everywhere.   

Article excerpt, “The ADA stands in disagreement with this recommendation stating that routine dental care is essential to overall health of the patient. Assessing and diagnosing oral conditions relates directly to the general health of the dental patient as it allows the dental team to monitor oral findings and determine their causes and relationships to other body systems, therefore giving the dentist and his/her staff an important “window” into other possible underlying health issues that may be present. As we know, the oral cavity presents with many clues as to what may be going on elsewhere in the body. When routine dental care is delayed or postponed, it prevents the possibility of observing possible signs indicating other health conditions that may require attention.

President of the ADA, Dr. Chad P. Gehani feels confident about the protocols that have been defined by the CDC in cooperation with the ADA that allow for proper use of important PPE equipment, along with scrupulous adherence to amending dental procedures to minimize dental aerosol production during treatment of the patient. As dental offices are intent on maintaining these rigorous protocols to keep their patients safe, those same offices feel that resuming routine dental care along with other necessary dental procedures will also allow them to keep their patients safe from other potential health issues.

EZ Dental Care also feels it is important to make patients feel comfortable in the dental office during these trying and unprecedented times. When injured employees suffer dental trauma, it is imperative that they are able to receive the appropriate dental care as soon as possible, as many of these claimants are in pain and need immediate attention. The team at EZ Dental Care is intent on making sure that this is a possibility, and still has conscientiously managed to get injured workers treated during this Covid-19 pandemic when they have suffered work-related dental trauma. Instilling confidence in our dental partners also becomes an important component to the effective dental care and treatment planning for our clients, as it establishes good dental rapport between the patient and the dental team who will be restoring their dental health. In addition, it is the hope that a relationship between the patient and dental partner is forged so that continued optimum dental health can be maintained through future visits, both “routine” and otherwise. 

As with medical practices, dental offices have adapted with social distancing practices such as: patients checking in and waiting in their vehicle until ready to be called back to start their visit, temperature checks, pre-appointment screening processes, reducing the number of scheduled appointments for the day, and rigorous cleaning of the practice.  The impact from reduced appointment availability does make it a little challenging with securing an appointment at that “perfect time”.  However, dental practices still are able to accommodate emergencies and treat for severe dental pain promptly.   Another impact insurance carriers will observe stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, is the use of CDT code D1999 for PPE.  The ADA has also allowed dentists to charge for PPE to help with the additional expenses incurred to be compliant with their respective states’ guidelines set forth for dentistry.  Not all providers will charge, but the use of this code has increased over the last few months.

As we enter 2021 with a promising vaccine, dental offices will continue to adapt and operate with a “new normal”.  Injured workers are still able to receive dental care for any dental trauma.

EZ Dental Care offers complimentary, one (1) hour continuing education courses.  Several new courses have been added in 2021 including COVID-19: How Dentistry is Affected.  To review a listing of courses, please visit 2021 CEU Course listing.

 

Leon Levy
Vice President of Client Services
EZ Comp Care, Inc. (dba EZ Dental Care)