The British Columbia Dental Association (BCDA) Board of Directors have agreed, after careful deliberation, to stand in strong support with the Canadian Dental Association, BC Centre for Disease Control, and Doctors of BC in the position that COVID-19 vaccines are science-based, safe, effective and have been thoroughly investigated; and support the call to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for BC health care workers, including oral health care professionals.
Earlier this year, at the request of members, BCDA successfully advocated for dentists to receive the COVID-19 vaccine earlier than the general public, and to also become vaccine administrators.
This reflects our commitment, as health care providers, to protect the health of patients as well as dentists and staff. We have seen first-hand what vaccines have done to reduce severity of illness and the number of cases. While our recommendation is non-binding, with the highly transmissible Delta variant now being the dominant strain in BC, BCDA strongly recommends and encourages our members and their staff to get vaccinated.
On December 18, the College of Dental Surgeons of BC clarified how the mask order issued by Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer on November 24 applies to dental patients. Under the order, a patient (or anyone else) visiting a dental office is expected to wear a mask regardless of their ability to maintain physical distance of two meters. The mask does not need to be medical grade. Non-medical masks for patients and visitors are acceptable.
On August 18, BC Dental Association (BCDA) member dentists and certified dental specialists received updated guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, the College of Dental Surgeons of BC and WorkSafeBC to expand dental services across BC. Details of the guidelines for all Oral Health Care Providers can be viewed at the College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC)
Dentists and dental teams have been experts at infection control for a long time. As we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic in BC, dental patients have an important role to play in keeping everyone safe.
Dental patients are asked to:
On behalf of our members, we thank patients for their understanding and patience as dental offices adapt to new office changes to meet evolving public health policies.
We're all in this together!
Dentists have always been experts at infection control and have COVID-19 policies and procedures in place to keep everyone safe.
Please ensure you contact the dental office by phone before you visit and disclose if you are not well or have any COVID-19 symptoms. To comply with physical distancing requirements, many dental offices may continue to provide initial consultations over the phone.
This list of recent articles on COVID-19 and oral health is provided as a public service, and does not represent an endorsement of the views expressed.
The BC government has launched a COVID-19 Support App Self-Assessment Tool to provide information or determine if you may need testing. The app can be installed on smartphones or viewed as a website. A dedicated information phone line is also available for people who want to check their health status. The toll-free line is open at 1-888-268-4319 (1-888-COVID19) 7:30am - 8pm PST seven days a week for non-medical information about COVID-19, including information on travel and physical distancing, and access to support and services from the provincial and federal governments.