Dental Board Statement Regarding Gov. Abbott Executive Order
The following was issued by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners:
In his press conference today, Governor Abbott issued an executive order restricting healthcare professionals and facilities. According to the Executive Order No. GA-09, “beginning now and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on April 21, 2020, all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities shall postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition of, or to preserve the life of, a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician;”
“PROVIDED, however, that this prohibition shall not apply to any procedure that, if performed in accordance with the commonly accepted standard of clinical practice, would not deplete the hospital capacity or the personal protective equipment needed to cope with the COVID- 19 disaster.”
Since the Governor is addressing a shortage of hospital capacity, it is imperative that dental clinicians care for emergency patients in a timely manner rather than referring them to emergency facilities. The governor also pointed out in his comments that violation of executive orders could lead to potential fines and even jail time for those who do not comply.
We are in unprecedented times and as much as we want concrete answers, COVID-19 is a fluid situation. TAPD continues to follow guidance from AAPD, ADA, TDA, the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, the Governor’s Office and state and local public health authorities related to the latest information on COVID-19.
Below is the latest guidance from AAPD:
The ADA has recommended that dentists postpone elective procedures for the next three weeks. A number of states have strongly recommended that dentists postpone non-emergency care as well. These ADA and state recommendations are consistent with AAPD’s statement of March 16. Children in need of urgent/emergency care should be treated, while elective care can be postponed. Urgent/emergency care means treatment of pain, swelling, trauma, and infection. Hygiene and prophylaxis visits, cosmetic, and elective operative procedures should be considered non-urgent/non-emergency.
Governor Greg Abbott announced yesterday that he believes by the end of this week, everyone who needs a coronavirus test should be able to obtain one with a doctor’s order. TAPD encourages all of our members to visit the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners websites to obtain the most up-to-date information for the state of Texas. They have a dedicated call center to answer COVID-19 related questions and concerns Monday-Friday 7:00am-6:00pm which can be reached at 1-877-570-9779.
We understand this is an anxious time for everyone. Your health and safety, and that of your patients, staff and families, is our highest priority. Our ongoing commitment to you is to ensure that you have the latest resources available to make an informed decision about your practices, and to continue to support you however we can. We are in this together.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry https://www.aapd.org/about/about-aapd/news-room/covid-19/
American Dental Association https://success.ada.org/en/practice-management/patients/~/~/link.aspx?_id=6C881EF4A7884989A80BA475F9A116ED&_z=z
Texas Dental Association https://www.tda.org/
Texas Department of State Health Services https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/
Texas Department of State Health Services Statewide Cases https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/updates.shtm#coronavirus
Texas State Board of Dental Examiners http://tsbde.texas.gov/
I hope you, your families and staff are all well. The TAPD board understands and respects your concerns regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and want you to know we are speaking with and getting information from ADA, AAPD, TDA, CDC, the Governor’s Office and health authorities and will disseminate that information as quickly as possible to you. Know that we will not only support their recommendations, but we will assist them in any way possible.
Please be aware that the Texas Attorney General has issued a statement regarding price gouging of supplies. If any of you have any issues with increased prices of masks, hand sanitizer, gloves or other necessary items, please contact the Texas Attorney General’s toll-free complaint line at (800) 621-0508 or file a complaint online at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/consumer-protection.
For information on the spread or treatment of Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services at https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ .
Please do not hesitate to let us know if we can assist by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Refugio Gonzalez III, DDS
President, Texas Academy of Pediatric Dentistry