1. Novel Coronavirus, SARS CoV-2 Updates

At the CDHNS, our goal is to ensure that safe, timely, appropriate oral health care is provided to Nova Scotians during this pandemic. At the same time, we must work to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus, including community transmission, and ensure the supply of human resources, supplies, and equipment are sufficient to provide necessary medical and dental care during this time.

On May 29, 2020, the Nova Scotia government issued a revised order under the Health Protection Act that allowed previously restricted regulated health professionals, including the oral health professions, to begin engaging in in-person and virtual care in private practices on June 5, 2020, providing they remained within scope and that the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) approved the regulatory body's return to work action plan. On May 29, 2020, the CMOH notified the four oral health regulators that their phased-in Return to Work Guidelines for Oral Health Professions of Nova Scotia (Joint Guidelines) had been approved. Until March 21, 2022, all oral health professions practiced in accordance with the most current version of these Guidelines.  

On March 21, 2022, the province lifted its state of emergency and simultaneously lifted most provincial restrictions. There were some exceptions, including maintenance of masking in health care settings. This includes clinical oral health care settings. As such, while the joint RTW Guidelines were rescinded, all oral health professionals must follow the minimum Infection Prevention and Control and OHS Guidelines that were previously in place (NSDA 2013), and they must continue to adhere to the additional measures outlined below.     

We will be re-evaluating this on an ongoing basis, in response to changing epidemiology, and with direction from Dr. Strang.

It is critical that all dental hygienists comply with the established protocols. Further, dental hygienists are responsible for ensuring that their clients comply with the protocols, where applicable.

Additional measures: 

  • wearing masks is mandatory for all individuals in dental and dental hygiene clinic settings (clients, staff, and others entering the premises). This will be re-evaluated as we go forward. 
    • The exceptions are clients who are receiving care in the operatory, and staff when eating and drinking in designated areas. 
  • keeping operatories decluttered to facilitate surface disinfection between clients
  • maintaining diligent hand hygiene and cough etiquette techniques 
  • wearing masks and eye protection at all times during client care, and when processing contaminated instruments
  • following best practices regarding when it is appropriate to perform certain procedures, including Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs)
  • wearing client-specific gowns (or lab coats) for AGPs, or during procedures likely to generate splatter or droplets of blood, body fluids, secretions, or excretions. Please note: The CDHNS continues to strongly recommend the use of gowns, rather than lab coats. 
  • removing clinic attire (e.g., scrubs) before leaving the clinic
  • advising staff and clients to refrain from coming to the office when sick 

Additional Federal and Provincial Guidance and Statements

Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada's website on COVID-19, for updates on the current Canadian situation, facts about vaccines and national travel requirements, as well as helpful tools, such as the COVID-19 Visit Risk Calculator and Decision Aid developed by the National Institute on Ageing.   

OCMOH Pregnancy Booster Interval Update - Jan 24 2022

PHAC Joint Statement on Unproven Therapies for COVID-19 Mar 31 2020

COVID-19: Pandemic Guidance for Health Care Sector

NS Crisis Hub Apr 23 2020

2. FDHRC/NDHCB Statement to Stakeholders - Sept 27, 2021

On behalf of the Federation of Dental Hygiene Regulators of Canada (FDHRC) and the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board (NDHCB), we are announcing the formal decision to amalgamate our two organizations into a single national entity, effective January 1, 2022. An amalgamation agreement was approved by the boards and members of both FDHRC and NDHCB in a series of special meetings held on August 17, 2021.

The new organization will be incorporated under the name of the Federation of Dental Hygiene Regulators of Canada (FDHRC). The FDHRC will operate from the current NDHCB office in Ottawa and will provide the same professional leadership and quality assurance as always, while continuing to ensure the protection of the public.

Please read the attached document for full details. 

3. Brushing Up on Mouth Care

On December 4, 2018, the Brushing up on Mouth Care website was relaunched after being redesigned. This website has a suite of updated open access resources to support the delivery of optimum daily mouth care for those who may be dependent on others for their care. This includes a link to Nova Scotia Dept. of Health and Wellness’s Long-Term Care Requirements (including oral care). There are sections for health care professionals, administrators, educators and family/care givers. Check it out at http://brushingup.ca/ 

 

2018 12 10 Brushing Up on Mouth Care Image

4. Prevent More to Treat Less

The College of Dental Hygienists of Nova Scotia has commissioned a White Paper on Prevent More to Treat Less

White Paper

5. Tooth Bleaching/Whitening

What should the Nova Scotia public know about whitening their teeth?  Please read the College of Dental Hygienists of Nova Scotia Position on Tooth Bleaching/Whitening