Their Role to Protect the Public
The RCDSO is not only the official standard for dental education in Ontario, but it also works to protect the public form all related dental practices and products. “We are the regulatory agency for dentists in Ontario. We set education standards, produce guidelines and standards of practice, and provide a complaints and investigation process for the public.” Looking back, it’s easy to see that their protective role saved many lives during the height of COVID-19.
During the pandemic they mandated and regulated how and when dental work in Ontario could proceed. The RCDSO worked in close coordination with the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario when making decisions about the level of protection needed to keep us safe from this new threat.
Best Prepared to Manage Infectious Disease
Long before COVID-19 the RCDSO was aware of the dangers of infectious disease and bacterial infections as they relate to the dental environment. In an atmosphere where everyone who visits opens their mouth wide for an extended period of time, presents some obvious control challenges and transmission opportunities for viruses and bacteria. “Dentists must consider the best interests of their patients and communities at all times” encouraged the RCDSO during the early days of the pandemic. True to their word, dental clinics across Ontario closed for several months in areas with high levels of the virus. Then the College developed guidance for dentists: “Managing Infection Risks During In-Person Dental Care” that would remain indefinitely in place.
Who is the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario?
Not just anyone can make these very difficult decisions providing guidelines and rules that affect people’s lives. “RCDSO’s governing Council is the College’s board of directors. Composed of elected dentists, members of the public and academic representatives from Ontario’s university dental faculties, this combination brings a variety of perspectives and experiences to their decisions”- RCDSO website. As mentioned, the practical and effective advice that came from this council saved lives, possibly thousands of them.
Here is an overview of some areas where excellent guidance was provided for all dental clinics in Ontario:
- Infection Prevention and Control
- Dentists’ Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Patient Screening and PPE
- Hand Hygiene
- Patient experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
- Advice to dentists on getting vaccinated and vaccine hesitancy
- Can dentists ask patients about their COVID-19 vaccination status?
Decisive Action Appreciated
As you can see, dentists were not left to decide on their own how to handle the issues that develop because of the pandemic. The importance of all dentists being united as to how things were handled can’t be understated, as it simplified decision making for the public regarding dental care. The decisive actions of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario were much appreciated especially during the last few years!
Erbsville Dental continues to use what they have learned from the RCDSO and COVID-19 to enhance the safety of their clinic. Read our blog(s) “A Safe Place” and “The Air in Here” to see just a few things that have been done to keep you safe when you visit. Because of the RCDSO and Ontario Health we’ll be better equipped and prepared for future viruses that may threaten us. Therefore, a big thanks to all of you who help keep us safe!