ADHA Interim Guidance for Dental Hygiene Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic | ADHA - American Dental Hygienists Association


ADHA Interim Guidance for Dental Hygiene Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic

What's New

ADHA continues to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance regarding the pandemic. There is limited data available on the efficacy of preprocedural mouth rinses (PPMR) during COVID-19. Evidence from recent studies suggest that some PPMR solutions are efficacious and may temporarily decrease the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in the oral cavity. Targeted clinical studies are currently underway to learn more about the potential role of PPMR and the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. ADHA has updated the ADHA Interim Guidance for Dental Hygiene Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic (page 7).


ADHA has updated the name of the resource to Interim Guidance for Dental Hygiene Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Additionally, new information has been added to the resource to share an update from the CDC regarding Epidemiology and Control of Selected Infections. This new information can be found on page 4 and 13 of the resource. View the report here.


View the Report Here



ADHA has revised its Interim Guidance on Returning to Work, based on updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Items of note include:

  1. Temperature checks are no longer recommended prior to patient visit.
  2. Unvaccinated health care personnel (HCP), patients and visitors should be offered resources and counseled about the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. In areas of substantial to high community transmission, continue to recommend universal eye protection and universal use of N95 for aerosol generating procedures.
  4. New section on COVID-19 testing and process to respond to exposure among dental health care professionals and others.


On August 4, 2020, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released revised, “Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings
During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.” Key points of the guidance:

  • Recognize dental settings have unique characteristics that warrant specific infection control considerations.
  • Prioritize the most critical dental services and provide care in a way that minimizes harm to patients from delaying care and harm to personnel and patients from potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The revisions made substantive changes to the guidance, including updated the definition of fever to either measured temperature ≥100.0°F or subjective fever to align with CDC’s larger body of work related to COVID-19. Also, the revisions added language that protective eyewear (e.g., safety glasses, trauma glasses) with gaps between glasses and the face likely do not protect eyes from all splashes and sprays and the revisions included additional guidance on physical distancing and how to respond to SARS-CoV-2 exposures among DHCP and other.

Additionally, in areas with moderate to substantial community transmission, during patient encounters with patients not suspected of SARS-CoV-2 infection, CDC recommends that dental healthcare personnel (DHCP):

  • Wear eye protection in addition to their facemask to ensure the eyes, nose, and mouth are all protected from exposure to respiratory secretions during patient care encounters, including those where splashes and sprays are not anticipated.
  • Use an N95 respirator or a respirator that offers an equivalent or higher level of protection during aerosol generating procedures.

You may view the complete CDC Interim Guidance for Dental Settings here.