A Clarification of the WHO’s Non-Essential Oral Care Advisory

While the WHO advises areas with a high risk of transmission to delay non-essential oral health care, this does not apply to Canada, which is low-risk.

dental checkup

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The Word Health Organization recently released their considerations for the provision of essential oral health services in the context of COVID-19. Though news outlets in Canada have covered these considerations, there have been certain misinterpretations that we would like to address.

While the WHO advises territories with a high risk of transmission to delay non-essential oral health care such as dental checkups, this does not apply to Canada, a fact that certain news articles have failed to clarify. As per the Canadian Dental Association:

“[The WHO’s considerations] are not relevant for the current status in Canada since there is not wide-spread community transmission of COVID-19 in our country. Canada is experiencing cluster-contained outbreaks, conditions which allow for routine oral health care to be provided.”

When Canada previously experienced a high rate of transmission, dentists all over the Canada exceeded the WHO’s recommendations by not only delaying non-essential treatments, but by shutting down completely.


“Canadian dentistry has among the highest infection control standards in the world and takes its guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, and the dental regulatory authorities in each province.”

[read the CDA’s full statement here]

In Quebec specifically, the Ordre de dentistes has established strict protocols for every level of COVID transmission rates. As mentioned above, when Quebec’s rates were higher at the onset of the outbreak, Pur did its part by shutting its doors until the rates improved, after which we reopened and adopted the next strictest level of protocols for infection control. Now that Quebec’s transmission rate is rather low, we are still maintaining stricter protocols than the province’s situation calls for, thereby exceeding standards.

Because we value transparency as well as our patients’ peace of mind, here are the key elements that characterize our clinic’s response to the pandemic:

  • HEPA filters in each room
  • Wait time for air to be exchanged between each patient 
  • Fit-tested N95, KN95, surgical masks depending on procedures 
  • Gowns, face shields, and protective eyewear
  • Patient screenings featuring questionnaire and temperature check
  • 2% hydrogen peroxide rinses for all patients
  • Plexi glass in reception areas
  • Masks worn by staff at all times, even outside of clinical situations
  • Patient escorts not allowed outside of exceptional situations

Our staff and patients’ health is at the forefront of everything we do at Pur Dental Center, which is why we have routinely exceeded even the highest standards throughout the entirety of the pandemic. 

We thank you for your trust.

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