CDC Updates N95 and Eyewear Guidelines for Dental Practices

Dentistry Today


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have updated their Guidance for Dental Settings, emphasizing the role of N95 masks and eyewear during some procedures, in addition to changes made for clarity.

In areas with moderate to substantial community transmission, during encounters with patients who are not suspected of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the CDC recommends that dental healthcare personnel:

  • 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 that offers an equivalent or higher level of protection during aerosol-generating procedures.

The updates also have added language that protective eyewear such as safety glasses and trauma glasses with gaps between the glasses and the face likely do not protect the eyes from all splashes and sprays.

Further, the CDC updated the definition of fever to either measured temperature equal to or greater than 100.0°F or subjective fever to align with its Interim Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.

And, the updates include additional guidance on physical distancing and how to respond to SARS-CoV-2 exposures among dental healthcare personnel and others.

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