Map of State Mandates for Dentistry

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Important things to note

These are summary categories only (actual definitions may differ), and are based on orders or directives that must be followed by dentists. Additional conditions and safety or risk mitigation requirements may apply and vary by state. Some county/local orders may further restrict the practice of dentistry.

Most, if not all, dental associations, dental boards or similar organizations recommend following CDC and ADA guidelines, regardless of what the actual state order or mandate is. Several dental boards have indicated that failure to follow CDC guidelines may constitute unprofessional conduct and could result in disciplinary action.

Requirements and recommendations are shifting often and should be independently confirmed.

Task force 1

No (or relaxed) dental
mandate/may operate as an essential business

Task force 2

Urgent and emergency dental care only

Task force 3

Emergency dental care

Task force 4

No dentistry allowed
of any kind

click on your state or select from the list BELOW

Last updated on July 29, 2020


For informational purposes only. We're not giving tax or legal advice and laws and materials are subject to change. Clients and others should independently confirm all information and work with their professional advisers to identify and implement recommendations appropriate in their particular circumstances

The ADA has provided the following guidance to our profession and to state
and local governments on what is a dental emergency vs. urgent care.

Dentists should use their professional judgment in determining a patient's need for urgent or emergency care.

Dental emergencies are potentially life threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding, alleviate severe pain or infection, and include:

  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Cellulitis or a diffuse soft tissue bacterial infection with intra-oral or extra-oral swelling that potentially compromise the patient’s airway
  • Trauma involving facial bones, potentially compromising the patient’s airway

Urgent dental care focuses on the management of conditions that require immediate attention to relieve severe pain and/or risk of infection and to alleviate the burden on hospital emergency departments. These should be treated as minimally invasively as possible.

  • Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation
  • Pericoronitis or third-molar pain
  • Surgical post-operative osteitis, dry socket dressing changes
  • Abscess, or localized bacterial infection resulting in localized pain and swelling
  • Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft tissue trauma
  • Dental trauma with avulsion/luxation
  • Dental treatment required prior to critical medical procedures
  • Final crown/bridge cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken or causing gingival irritation
  • Biopsy of abnormal tissue

Other urgent dental care:

  • Extensive dental caries or defective restorations causing pain
    • Manage with interim restorative techniques when possible (silver diamine fluoride, glass ionomers)
  • Suture removal
  • Denture adjustment on radiation/oncology patients
  • Denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded
  • Replacing temporary filling on endo access openings in patients experiencing pain
  • Snipping or adjustment of an orthodontic wire or appliances piercing or ulcerating the oral mucosa
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