Dentists across B.C. will no longer be performing elective or non-essential procedures, the profession’s regulatory body announced Monday afternoon.
The College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia said the move was in line with recommendations from B.C. and federal officials.
In a statement, CEO Dr. Chris Hacker said pre-screening protocols should be developed.
“All [dentists] must perform a thorough pre-treatment risk assessment that includes risk to the patient, to the oral heath care provider and to the greater community before any treatment is undertaken,” Hacker said.
The only patients who will be treated are those with infection, acute pain or trauma, and dentists can refer patients elsewhere if they don’t have proper facilities to stop infection.
That means teeth cleaning, whitening, fillings and regular check-ups are out for the foreseeable future.
The news comes shortly after all attendees of the Pacific Dental Conference in Vancouver were told to self-isolate due to COVID-19 exposure.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said she was “very disappointed” with how the event had been handled.