Rethinking Academic Dental Clinics in the Era of COVID-19

Academic Dental Clinic | SmithGroup

As academic dental clinics reopen throughout the country, there are several unanswered questions about the durable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. School administrators and clinicians are asking what modifications to operations and clinical facilities will be necessary to resume full-volume treatment safely while meeting the requirements of the recently issued Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Interim Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings.

Leveraging our national perspective, and with the goal of reducing airborne disease transmission in dental teaching clinics, we have identified emerging best practices for both the near-term and a post-COVID world. We explored these emergent best practices with institutions adapting existing facilities and those designing new clinical facilities. While existing programs may face challenges implementing all planning and systems recommendations, our experience suggests they can act on the highest impact tactics tailored for their operations to significantly mitigate the risk of disease transmission.

This guide compares the scale of intervention with the level of risk mitigation across the following five categories: Community, Patient, Operatory, Clinic and Building

These practices are being implemented across a wide range of dental schools—with significant differences in context, patient volume and physical planning. Dental education experts in SmithGroup’s Higher Education Practice seek to understand additional approaches to providing oral care through the pandemic, identifying which practices have been most beneficial and which will be incorporated into future models of care.

CLICK HERE to access "Rethinking Academic Dental Clinics in the Era of COVID-19."