Governor Lamont Releases Dental Guidance Agreed Upon by Working Group of Dentists, Hygienists, and Assistants
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today released the guidance document that was developed through a collaborative working group organized by his administration and provides best practices for dentist offices that are considering expanding their operations beyond emergency care in the coming days.
During the pandemic, dentist offices have been considered an essential business by the Lamont administration and were never ordered to close, however following a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental offices were strongly advised to temporarily limit their practices to urgent and emergency dental care. As several other sectors of the economy begin preparations to reopen on May 20, some dental practices in the state indicated their intention to resume elective services on that date, and dental hygienists and assistants contacted the Lamont administration asking for more guidance.
To help address those concerns, Governor Lamont directed leadership at the Connecticut Department of Public Health to convene a working group of dental professionals representing dental hygienists, dental assistants, and dentists. The group recently met through video conferencing over a five-day period, and reached a consensus on the final guidance document.
“Having representatives from each of these groups collaboratively develop these protocols was an important step forward so that all of their concerns could be heard and addressed,” Governor Lamont said. “The success of this effort is owed to each member’s extensive and continuous hard work, commitment to professionalism, advocacy for their constituencies, and common goal of protecting the health and safety of the dental workforce and patients. Our group of professionals at the Department of Public Health have been incredibly thorough and thoughtful during this pandemic, and this is yet another example of their incredible hard work on behalf of the residents of our state.”
Representatives on the working group included:
- Christian D. Andresen, MPH, CPH: Section Chief, Practitioner Licensing and Investigations, Connecticut Department of Public Health
- Anne Marie DeLessio-Matta, DMD: Pediatric Dental Associates of Southbury; President-Elect, Connecticut State Dental Association
- Sheila Fontanella, DA: Practicing Dental Assistant
- Peter S. Katz, DMD: Chairman, Connecticut State Dental Commission
- Tam Le, DMD: President, Connecticut State Dental Association
- Jennifer Mancini, RDH: Practicing Licensed Dental Hygienist
- Marion C. Manski, RDH, MS: Director, Fones School of Dental Hygiene; Associate Professor, College of Health Sciences, University of Bridgeport Health Sciences Center
- Marie R. Paulis, RDH, MSDH: Assistant Professor and Dental Hygiene Program Director, School of Health Sciences, University of New Haven
- Melissa Sipos, RDH: Practicing Licensed Dental Hygienist
- Thomas St. Louis, MSPH: Occupational Health Program Supervisor, Connecticut Department of Public Health