Tennessee Dental Practices Reopen

Dentistry Today


Effective at 12:01 am on May 6, dentists in Tennessee may resume non-emergency dental and oral procedures including hygiene visits, cosmetic procedures, and other elective treatment. Practicing dentists in Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, and Sullivan County are subject to local regulations and restrictions, if any.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s executive order says that the ongoing threat of the spread of the COVID-19 virus still requires measures to preserve adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and measures to limit unnecessary person-to-person interactions.

Further, the order says that the Tennessee Board of Dentistry, the Tennessee Dental Association, and the Tennessee Dental Hygienists’ Association are still developing appropriate guidelines to resume non-emergency dental practices safely in the state.

The Tennessee Board of Dentistry notes that it is limited in its authority by statute to the licensing and discipline of licensees in the dental profession and the promulgation of rules that further clarify its practice act.

Accordingly, the board continues, it cannot legally establish guidelines for licensees to follow when returning to practice. To limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, though, it strongly recommends that licensees review information from the ADA and the Tennessee Department of Health for the duration of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Tennessee Dental Association is offering resources and information for dentists online.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, continues to recommend that dental practices postpone elective procedures, surgeries, and non-urgent dental visits.

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