Modifications of emergency dental clinic protocols to combat COVID-19 transmission

Robert Hollinshead Long, Tyrous David Ward, Michael Edward Pruett, John Finklea Coleman, Marc Charles Plaisance

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


During the COVID-19 pandemic, incidence rates for dental diseases will continue unabated. However, the intent to prevent the spread of this lethal respiratory disease will likely lead to reduced treatment access due to restrictions on population movements. These changes have the potential to increase dental-related emergency department visits and subsequently contribute to greater viral transmission. Moreover, dentists experience unique challenges with preventing transmission due to frequent aerosol-producing procedures. This paper presents reviews and protocols implemented by directors and residents at the Dental College of Georgia to manage a dental emergency clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic. The methods presented include committee-based prioritization of dental patients, a multilayered screening process, team rotations with social and temporal spacing, and modified treatment room protocols. These efforts aid in the reduction of viral transmission, conservation of personal protective equipment, and expand provider availability. These protocols transcend a university and hospital-based models and are applicable to private and corporate models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-226
Number of pages8
JournalSpecial Care in Dentistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • dentistry
  • emergency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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