Member Alert: COVID-19 Guidance for OMS Practices

March 17, 2020

AAOMS has carefully assessed the most recent developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple state mandates and the recent ADA policy statement. With an emphasis on patient, staff, and oral and maxillofacial surgeon safety, AAOMS offers guidance for OMS practices by providing the following recommendations:

  • Using all available patient information, current CDC Guidelines and best practitioner judgment, the OMS should – after conducting extensive discussions with patients and family members (i.e., parent or guardian) – determine if the surgical need for each patient is essential and immediate.
  • Emergency and urgent care should be provided in an environment appropriate to the patient’s condition.
  • Patients testing positive for COVID-19 or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 who have acute oral and maxillofacial infections, active oral and maxillofacial disease, oral and maxillofacial injuries or are in acute pain requiring immediate treatment should receive care in facilities where all appropriate PPE, including N-95 masks, are available.
  • Patients with conditions in which a delay in surgical treatment could result in impairment of their condition or impairment of pending treatment (e.g., impairment of the restoration of diseased tooth when another tooth that is indicated for removal prevents access to the diseased tooth) should be treated in a timely manner.
  • Asymptomatic patients requesting removal of disease-free teeth with no risk of impairment of the patient’s condition or pending treatment should defer treatment to a later date.
  • As testing for COVID-19 becomes more readily available, and effective medications and vaccines are developed, guidelines for the management and treatment of patients will change. Until then, social distancing and effective infection control are especially essential components of the care we provide. In the short term (over the next 2 to 3 weeks), procedures that are determined by the oral and maxillofacial surgeon to be completely elective should be deferred.

This is an evolving and constantly changing situation. Please remember: these are recommendations and not mandates and ultimately the decision of the treatment of patients still rests with the individual practitioner. Our No. 1 goal as always is to provide safe and effective treatments for our patients.
We appreciate your patience and support as we all navigate this time of uncertainty together. AAOMS and our staff stand ready to assist in whatever lies ahead.

Victor L. Nannini, DDS, FACS
AAOMS President