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 at all times, including during a 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.

On May 29, 2020, Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Office of Health (CMOH) Dr. Strang, 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. On July 6, 2022, Dr. Strang lifted all remaining restrictions in the community. Most restrictions in high-risk settings remained in place. The CDHNS continues to align with Nova Scotia Health's guidelines for healthcare facilities, which includes physician's officesWe will re-evaluate this on an ongoing basis, in response to changing epidemiology, and with direction from Dr. Strang. 

At this time, all NS oral health professionals must follow the minimum Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) and OHS Guidelines that were previously in place (NSDA 2013), and they must continue to adhere to the additional measures outlined below. All dental hygienists must comply with the established protocols. Further, dental hygienists are responsible for ensuring that their clients comply with the protocols, where applicable. These additional measures will continue until the new IPAC Standards are implemented on March 1, 2023

Additional measures: 

  • wearing masks is mandatory for all individuals in dental and dental hygiene clinic settings (clients, staff, and others entering the premises). 
    • The exceptions are clients who are receiving care in the operatory, and staff when in closed staff areas, such as private offices, lunchrooms, and kitchens, unless dictated by a site-specific policy.  
  • 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 strongly recommends 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.   

NS Crisis Hub Apr 23 2020

2. Prevent More to Treat Less

The CDHNS commissioned a White Paper on Prevent More to Treat Less in 2014. The same premise, concepts, and solutions remain as true today, as they did when it was first commissioned.   

White Paper

3. FDHRC/NDHCB Amalgamation - Effective Jan 1, 2022

On January 1, 2022, the Federation of Dental Hygiene Regulators of Canada (FDHRC) and the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board (NDHCB) amalgamated. The new organization is incorporated under the name of the Federation of Dental Hygiene Regulators of Canada (FDHRC). The FDHRC operates from the former NDHCB office in Ottawa and provides the same professional leadership and quality assurance while continuing to ensure the protection of the public.

Please read the attached document for full details.