May 9, 2020
To All Nova Scotia Denturists
The Denturist Licensing Board of Nova Scotia has a responsibility to ensure that safe, timely and appropriate oral health care is provided to Nova Scotians during the pandemic, while adhering to the COVID-19 protocols.
Due to the unprecedented health risks associated with COVID-19, the DLBNS strongly recommended closure of all denturist clinics until such time as the State of Emergency was lifted or until further notice. This is still in effect. Any clinic operating without approved protocols would be liable and possibly without malpractice insurance.
In the meantime, Nova Scotia Denturists have a responsibility to remain available to their patients via electronic communication methods by forwarding phones, checking messages and contacting patients who may require ongoing support.
The DLBNS was asked by the Provincial Dental Board (PDBNS) to participate in an advisory group along with other oral health providers. The PDBNS provided the advisory group with a Guidelines on Return to Practice.
Guidelines for reintegration are in the process of being developed in conjunction with other oral health care providers. A copy will be provided to you upon completion.
April 7, 2020
Important Notice to all Denturists in Nova Scotia
The Denturist Licensing Board of Nova Scotia is strongly recommending that all Denture Clinics in Nova Scotia remain closed until the State of Emergency is lifted or until further notice.
On March 21, 2020, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Robert Strang, issued an Order under the Health Protection Act that all self-regulated health professions may provide in-person emergency or urgent care services and may provide virtual care for non-emergency/virtual care services.
A defined dental emergency includes trauma, significant infection, prolonged bleeding or pain that cannot be managed by over the counter medications. A denture emergency that cannot be managed would be if there is a complication with a fixed denture that cannot be removed by the patient. Since a licensed denturist in Nova Scotia is only permitted to provide a patient removable denture, this does not constitute an emergency.
It is advised that you remain accessible by phone or electronic means to advise patients of their options for treatment if they feel they have an emergency. We would suggest making a referral to a designated emergency dental clinic, since the protocol now further requires that all emergency dental treatment should only be provided at a designated emergency dental clinic across the province.
The Board is aware of how challenging this time is for you, especially having your practice activity reduced to zero, or close to zero. There is a direct conflict of interest here between lives and livelihood. It is difficult, there is no arguing that. However, the public and your patients trust that you will make decisions based on the interests of the patient. This is part of the responsibility of being a regulated health professional, even in these very financially challenging times. Registered Denturists are highly regarded oral health professionals who take the trust and confidence placed in the profession by the public seriously and will act to maintain that public trust and confidence in this very challenging time. Although we have different roles, we are in this together.