May 1st – CDHM Registrant Guiding Document for COVID-19 Transition Phase

CDHM Guiding Document
May 1st, 2020

On April 29th, the Premier announced their phased in approach to re-establishing services in this province. Manitoba provincial public health authorities have recognized that the province is emerging out of the COVID- 19 Pandemic Phase and into a Transition phase. They outline multiple phases to re-establishing services. Effective May 4th, the first phase may include increased activity for ‘Therapeutic and Health Care Businesses’ at the further direction of their respective regulatory bodies. Dental hygienists and dentists were included in the list of regulated health professionals identified in phase one.

During my communications with the Manitoba Dental Association (MDA), we agreed the best approach to phasing in the re-integration of dental care is through a responsible staged approach. The College of Dental Hygienists of Manitoba regulates dental hygiene in the Public interest and at this time, it is the strong recommendation of the CDHM that dental hygiene services, considered as non-urgent, remain suspended until further notice.

The MDA has stated it “is strongly recommending that all non-urgent and elective dental services provided in person remain suspended until further notice, and effective May 4, 2020 the provision of dentistry may now include both emergency and urgent dental care.”

The MDA definitions of Emergency, Urgent Care and Non-Urgent Care are as follows:
Emergency Care: Emergency treatment only includes treatment due to a significant infection, acute pain that cannot be managed pharmacologically, oro-facial trauma or prolonged bleeding all of which, as a result, require immediate care.
Urgent Care: In dentistry, urgent care focuses on the management and treatment of conditions that require immediate attention due to a known or suspected malignancy; severe pain; infection or risk of infection
Non-Urgent Care: non-urgent care is the provision of routine or non-urgent procedures, including:

• recall examinations and routine radiographs
• routine dental cleanings and preventive therapies
• extraction of asymptomatic teeth
• restorative dentistry of asymptomatic carious lesions
• cosmetic dental procedures, including teeth whitening.

In preparation for the eventual return to work for dental hygienists in Manitoba, CDHM is working on a comprehensive Interim Infection Protection Control (IPC) Guideline related to COVID-19 management. The document will contain the most up to date evidence for best practice to facilitate the transition back to work. There will be many additional PPE requirements which will be procedure dependent, and multiple protocols for disinfection. The PPE requirements for non-aerosol generating procedures (non-AGP) and aerosol generating procedures (AGP) will be explained. The supply of necessary and appropriate PPE will be a requirement for returning to work safely. The IPC document will be finalized next week, thank-you for your patience. If you have any specific questions, please call the office and we will answer them for you.

The past 7 weeks have been challenging for everyone, both professionally and personally. I thank-you for your demonstrated professionalism and patience as we navigated through these uncertain times. Our role as healthcare providers is critical to the health of our communities and when we return to work, CDHM will continue to support you with updated guidelines to assist in the provision of safe care to protect you, your patient and your colleagues.

Arlynn Brodie
Registrar, Executive Director