AAE Guidelines Separate Emergency and Non-Emergency Treatment

Dentistry Today


The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) is providing recommendations to dentists for determining the difference between essential and non-essential treatment in providing care to their patients during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“Given the rapid and global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the responsibility of everyone, healthcare providers and fellow citizens, to do everything possible to reduce the spread of this infection,” said Dr. Keith V. Krell, AAE president.

“While there is no simple solution to balancing delivery of oral healthcare and minimizing the spread of the coronavirus, there is much we as endodontists and dentists can do to help reduce its spread,” said Krell. 

The AAE also is publishing a review coauthored by Dr. Ken M. Hargreaves providing an overview of the epidemiology, symptoms, and routes of transmission of COVID-19 in addition to specific recommendations for dental practice. 

“Advance publishing of this very important guidance has been critical in getting our members up to speed on the situation we’re facing,” said Krell. “In the coming days, we’ll continue to respond accordingly as the situation changes.”

The AAE says that it agrees with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the ADA, and other organizations recommending postponement of non-urgent oral healthcare. Urgent conditions that require treatment, the AAE says, may include severe dental pain, abscess with lymphadenopathy, and dental infection-related fever. 

Some urgent conditions may be treated with appropriate analgesics or antibiotics. The British Medical Journal recommends acetaminophen over ibuprofen. While providing pharmacological treatment, practitioners can monitor patient responses by telephone. 

If pharmacotherapy is insufficient, the AAE says that the review coauthored by Hargreaves summarizes considerations for appropriate dental care.

The impact of the pandemic varies across the country, the AAE says, so it urges clinicians to review the recommendations of their local and state dental societies. 

As the pandemic evolves, the AAE says, new recommendations likely will emerge. In addition to updates at aae.org/covid, the AAE encourages clinicians to visit:

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