The ADAWA are dedicated to supporting our members during the COVID-19 crisis. We have created this WA specific resource page as an information hub to help our members navigate the current dental industry challenges .
Level 3 Restrict
Tele-dentistry: a guide
ADAWA is currently in discussions with local and national private health insurance (PHI) companies to make tele-dentistry rebates a reality. A new item number has been created and the descriptor drafted.
COVID-19 Mental Health Support
We know it’s a time of uncertainty and stress for everyone, so it’s very important to prioritise your mental health. Here are a few support links and advice to help you look after your mental health through the coronavirus outbreak.
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs correct as of 31 March 2020. Please note this is a rapidly evolving situation and details may have changed.
What treatments are considered urgent services?
Dentists should use their clinical judgement to determine where a particular treatment sits, taking into account the individual patient circumstances and risk.
What does clinical judgement really mean?
The Dental Board of Australia has provided a minimum set of guidelines. As clinicians, we need to make decisions based on the protective equipment we have available, the risk to the patient and the risk to ourselves and our staff.
Clinicians need to decide whether they want to remain open for urgent cases and emergency cases. If you would like to close your practice, that’s acceptable; everyone has their own set of circumstances. ADAWA will do its best to ensure those practitioners who do stay open are able to be found.
What if I have patients already booked in for treatment?
You need to consider whether that treatment required meets the criteria for routine, urgent or emergency to see where is fits within the framework. You need to consider the potential risk to you and your staff, as well as your patients. It is important that you use your clinical judgement.
ADAWA cannot advise you on specific dental conditions or treatment procedures. Dentists must exercise their clinical judgement using the framework and guidelines, taking into account the particular circumstances of the patient and the risk involved.
Is a complete shutdown of all dental clinics possible?
There will always be a need for true emergency dental care to be provided. Dentistry is still regarded as an essential service and practitioners will still provide emergency care.
What happens if we run out of Personal Protective Equipment?
It is very clear. If your practice does not have the correct level of PPE to be treating patients, then you should not be treating them. There are no concessions.
Where do our Professional Indemnity Providers stand on dentists working in the current environment?
Under the terms of the policy that you have with ADAWA through our scheme of arrangement, you will be covered.
Will there be dedicated emergency dental clinics for self-isolated or quarantined patients?
In the coming days we will be releasing a very specific set of guidelines regarding this. Anyone currently in isolation or quarantined by Health Department or Government directives has a series of phone numbers for public health services near them. They call that number and are triaged for dental treatment from there. That is only for true emergency situations. It is unlikely that most dental practices would have sufficient PPE to treat a true infected patient.
What PPE is required to treat patients at level 3?
The best way to understand the PPE required is to read the ADA document called Managing COVID-19 Guidelines.
Will anyone advise us to shut down in a manner that would mean that business interruption insurance can be claimed?
Business interruption insurance does not apply in a pandemic.
If dentists are closed, where should we send emergency patients?
ADAWA will come up with a directory in conjunction with the Health Department. We will do everything we can to help members and the general public of WA.