The Mississippi State Department of Health Advisory

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) advises that given the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in Mississippi and the shortage of protective medical equipment, elective medical procedures and non-essential medical visits must be postponed at this time.
The following measures should be taken:
•  Physicians, hospitals and medical centers must defer elective surgical and diagnostic procedures until COVID-19 spread has diminished and the supply of protective medical equipment is restored.
•  Physicians and providers should reschedule non-urgent medical appointments for a later date.
•  Dentists must delay non-emergency or routine dental procedures.
•  Patients should reschedule any non-essential procedures, surgeries or medical visits until the threat of COVID-19 is diminished.
These measures will protect patients and healthcare professionals by minimizing potential exposure to COVID-19 and preserving valuable protective equipment.


To All Mississippi Licensees:

On Monday, March 30, 2020, the MSBDE voted to extend the MS Department of Health Mandate for Mississippi Dentistry THROUGH Friday, April 17th. This mandate states in no uncertain terms that "Dentists must delay non-emergency or routine dental procedures."  This is a public health order that is mandatory and enforceable by law.

This mandate clearly states that all elective dentistry is to stop. Emergency or Urgent procedures to alleviate severe pain, dangerous swelling, or infection with the potential to necessitate hospital care are allowed. Additionally, the final cementation of crowns or the completion of work in progress that could result in harm IS allowable as urgent care. It is up to the judgement of the licensed professional which cases require emergency or urgent treatment. Clear, recorded justification of a patient's necessity for care and subsequent care is required. Mississippi Dentistry's ability to keep patients out of the hospital during this pandemic requires good judgement and conscientous care

To reiterate,  Only emergency or urgent care should be provided as follows: The following is a guide to what may be regarded as emergency or urgent procedures:

-severe dental pain
-swelling of gums, face, or neck
-signs of infection such as a draining site -trauma to face, jaw, or teeth, including fractures
-pre and post transplant, radiation, or bisphosphonate patients with oral symptoms
-referrals made by physicians or other health care providers of an emergency basis
-potential malignancy
-broken tooth
-ill-fitting denture of an urgent/painful nature
-final crown/bridge cementation if incompletion could result in harm

Routine and/or elective procedures that should be ceased immediately, but are not limited to:

-routine orthodontics
-any cosmetic procedure such as veneers, teeth bleaching, or cosmetic bonding -all routine hygiene appointments -initiations of crowns, bridges, or dentures that do not address severe pain -any periodontal plastic surgery -extraction of asymptomatic, non-carious teeth -recall visits for periodontally healthy patients

Please continue to follow all CDC guidelines.

The Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners will meet again on April 15, 2020 to further address the needs of our licensees and patients. Each member of the Dental Board is in the same situation as every other practitioner, with the inability to see patients and lost income, and we are diligently seeking solutions. Please act in a way as to be a part of the solution and take every measure available to protect patients and aid in minimizing exposure to COVID-19.

Chris L. Hutchinson, Executive Director