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Tips for Handling Patients Who Won’t Comply With COVID-19 Precautions


The California Dental Association (CDA) has published some helpful tips to help oral health professionals deal with patients who are resistant to following pandemic safety precautions. The organization notes that dentists and dental hygienists are accustomed to dealing with “know-it-all” patients, and that these skills can be applied during the COVID-19 pandemic as well.

First, CDA suggests that practices disseminate clear instruction on their required safety procedures such as temperature taking, mask wearing, and waiting room etiquette. Second, the practice should institute a plan regarding alternative accommodations for those patients who refuse to wear masks or have medical conditions that preclude the wearing of face coverings such as sensory, cognitive, or behavioral disabilities. These accommodations may include teledentistry appointments, waiting in the car until just before treatment is provided, or scheduling such a patient as the last appointment of the day. Third, the organization recommends that oral health professionals be trained on how to manage patients who refuse to comply. CDA’s suggestions range from noting any signs of hesitancy regarding safety protocols when the patient is making an appointment to talking with unmasked patients outside of the practice to evaluating the situation for indications of escalation. Click here to read more.

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