Re-opening dental offices in a safe and effective manner is on the minds of all dental practice owners. We’ve gathered resources from state and federal organizations, national dental associations and dental malpractice insurance carries all in one place for your convenience. These include practical steps to take before you re-open, as you are seeing patients, and after patients leave to protect you, your staff and your patients.
Will my malpractice insurance cover me when I re-open my office
As long as you are re-opening your office within the parameters set by your state and local government, and you are treating patients within the scope of what is allowed by your dental license, then your dental malpractice insurance policy will continue to respond as it normally would, subject to the normal terms and conditions of your policy. The insurance companies below have not restricted or changed coverage based on the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is true for the following dental malpractice insurance companies:
For additional information from your specific malpractice insurance company, please click on the appropriate link. We have linked each company listed here to their COVID-19 response page.
Sample consent forms specific to COVID-19 to be used in conjunction with your regular consent form
These forms are not branded to any specific company and are a free resource.
Clear communication with patients and written documentation/charting has never been more important than it is right now. These consent forms are specific to COVID-19 and are to be used in conjunction with your regular consent form.
Make sure that patients who do not speak English as their first language fully understand and sign consent forms as well. It is your responsibility to provide appropriate translation to make sure communication with all patients is clear. These forms may be translated into other languages as needed. Do not rely on online translation software to accomplish this. Contact a bi-lingual person who works in the dental field to assist with translations, in order to insure that the intent as well as the words are translated correctly. If you do not know a bi-lingual person who can assist with this, please contact your state dental association to ask for assistance.
- Patient Advisory and Acknowledgement form for routine treatment – from Medical Protective
- Patient Advisory and Acknowledgement form for emergency treatment – from Medical Protective
- Representations and Consent form for treatment during COVID-19 – from ProAssurance Dentist Care
- Teledentistry Consent form – from ProAssurance Dentist Care
- Teledentistry Consent form – from EDIC (Eastern Dentists Insurance Company)
Re-opening Guidelines and Best Practices – checklists and articles
The following resources collectively provide information on everything from cleaning, testing employees and employee training, mitigating staffing changes/shortages, preparing for PPE and/or medication shortages, patient scheduling and screening, telemedicine, infection control, informed consent and documentation.
- Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings – from the CDC
- Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit – from the ADA
- Interim Mask and Face Shield Guidelines – from the ADA
- Guidance for Dental Practitioners – from OSHA
- Return to Work Guidance – from the AGD
- Preparing for Post COVID-19 Operations – from Medical Protective
- Returning to Practice Guide – from ProAssurance Dentist Care
Protecting Your Staff
Staff members may be feeling increased anxiety at the prospect of returning to work. Hygienists and Dental Assistants in particular may be worried about their own health and safety due to potential aerosol exposure and close patient interaction. The following resources are designed to help you protect your staff and ensure a safe working environment for them.
- Webinar – Respiratory Protection in the Era of COVID-19 – from the ADA
- OSHA Guidance for Dental Offices – from OSHA
Downloadable resources – all resources from the ADA
- Mask and Face Shield Guidelines
- How to Properly Put on and Take off a Disposable Respirator
- Donning and Doffing Instructions
- Interim Guidance for Triage, Screening and Risk Assessment of Patients