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Guidance for TAPD Members on Latest Practice Restrictions

Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order requiring all medical providersincluding dentists—to delay until midnight on April 21 “all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary to preserve a patient’s life or avoid adverse medical consequences.” In accordance with this executive order and to alleviate the burden on hospital systems, the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners issued a directive saying “…It is imperative that dental clinicians care for emergency patients in a timely manner rather than referring them to emergency facilities.” Violating the governor’s order is punishable by a fine or jail time.

It is up to each dentist’s professional judgment to determine what constitutes a medically necessary situation (ie, dental emergency), and you are encouraged to consult The American Dental Association (ADA) Emergency Procedures Guide as a reference. If you have any questions regarding this order, the standard of care or a specific case, please contact the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners at

Everyone in the medical/dental community is working hard—and working together—to respond to this unprecedented crisis. TAPD Secretary Ben Morgan is collecting information regarding donations of medical supplies and personal protection equipment (PPE) in conjunction with the Texas Hospital Association. If you have any medical supplies or personal protection equipment you would like to donate to hospital workers, please email with your name, location and what supplies you have.

We know this is a difficult time for everyone and we hope this guidance helps answer the questions many of you have had. We are all in this together—please know that we are here to support you however we can. We will get through this together.