NADG’S New Defined List of Essential Treatments and Advanced Infection Control Measures Now Being Implemented by Dental Practices Across the Globe
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to escalate around the world, North American Dental Group (NADG), in partnership with the Professional Dental Alliance (PDA) and its Dental Advisory Board (DAB), and as one of the leading Dental Service Organizations (DSOs) in the nation, has developed and integrated an innovative “Essential-Treatment Only” model and advanced infection control procedures, which the organization is now sharing with dental practices across to the globe to help limit exposure to this virus. Those guidelines are now available to any dental practice at www.covid19dentalresources.com.
“Dentists, in particular, are among the most vulnerable to coronavirus exposure. We wanted to use our collaborative group model to pioneer a new restricted treatment approach that helps minimize the risk, while ensuring we can still provide essential and emergency care,” said NADG CEO Ken Cooper. “While we’ve already implemented this approach across all NADG-supported practices, we wanted to be proactive and share our tools and resources with all dental organizations. We’ve been collaborating with dental organizations from around the globe to help them integrate the same model and approach.”
According to Cooper, “It is a collective effort to help to ‘flatten the curve.’ This public health pandemic requires a group effort, and NADG, along with the PDA and its Dental Advisory Board, are proud to take a leadership role in that effort.”
Essential-Treatment Only Model
The PDA, which is comprised of dentists and owns all NADG supported practices, spent several weeks developing updated clinical guidance for its practices to follow during the continued pandemic.
The Dental Advisory Board defined a list of Essential vs. Non-essential Treatments which helps team members and dentists in its practices make decisions about which procedures to postpone to a future date and which to maintain on schedule.
“There have been guidelines on essential and non-essential care before. But they often lead to more questions. With that context in mind, our Dental Advisory Board wanted to create clear definitions that dentists can use to make educated, thoughtful decisions that are in the best interest of their patients,” said NADG Chief Medical Officer Dr. Andrew Matta. “Dental practices need to be open in communities to serve critical dental needs, so
these patients do not burden the medical system by relying on emergency medical services. The Essential- Treatment Only model helps practices do that while ensuring the health and safety of dentists, their team members, and their patients.”
To help dental practices outside of its network, NADG has consulted and collaborated with dentistry boards in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and several other states, as well as U.S.-based associations such as the Association of Dental Support Organizations and The Dental Entrepreneur Organization.
In addition, NADG is working globally in partnership with Straumann USA to help the European based DSO Experience Exchange develop guidelines for the Essential-Treatment Only model. “We believe we have created a model that can help the entire industry continue to provide essential care during this crisis. This model also ensures that primary care and emergency rooms on the front lines are not dealing with dental emergencies so they can be focused on COVID-19,” said Dr. Matta.
Infection Control Procedures for Dental Practices
NADG’s Dental Advisory Board also developed advanced infection control procedures and protocols to help dental practices ensure the health and safety of their team members and patients. These include:
- Standard Operating Procedures for monitoring the temperatures of team members, patients and guests
- Procedure for front desk sign-ins
- Risk survey for screening patients
- Regular updates and information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to help control the community spread of the virus, including social distancing
- Infection control and enhanced cleaning protocol
- Response protocol if a team member or patient is infected with the coronavirus
- Temporary travel policy
- Procedures for closing a practice
- COVID-19 response workflow
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment
ABOUT NORTH AMERICAN DENTAL GROUP
North American Dental Group (NADG), based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was co-founded by Ken Cooper and Dr. Andrew Matta in 2008. NADG was created to transform the dental experience for its patients, clinicians, and its support teams and today consists of a network of over 230 dental practices in 15 states and 29 regional markets. The values of maintaining an emotionally intelligent approach, to be thoughtful educators, and to display a healthy bravado fuel our day-to-day patient care and operations. These founding values are alive and well as NADG celebrates its pioneer spirit by solidifying its partnership with Jacobs Holding AG.