COVID-19 Update Archives

A Message for Corporate Member Provincial Dental Associations

Below is a snapshot of the Canadian Dental Association’s (CDA) pandemic work for the week ending April 17, 2020.

Advocacy Updates

Updated! CDA Roadmap for dentists and dental office employees on how to navigate and access federal relief funding: The revised Roadmap reflects changes or amendments to several federal programs that was announced this week. The CDA website is in the process of being updated with the following details:

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): The eligibility criteria for CERB have been updated to allow individuals to earn up the $1,000 per month while receiving the benefit. This change is in response to the concerns raised by many groups (including CDA) that those people working a few hours for nominal amounts would not qualify. Initial statements indicated that a maximum of 10 hours of labour would be allowed, but the final announcement did not identify any hour restriction. To apply, a portal will be available on April 27, 2020, with funds being dispersed the week of May 4, 2020.
  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): The payroll aspects of eligibility requirements have been adjusted on both the low and high ends. It shifted the range to a $20,000 minimum and a $1,500,000 maximum in wages (from the previous $50,000 to $1,000,000 payroll range).

Coming soon! The Prime Minister announced the intent to launch the new Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program to assist with commercial rents for April, May and June. This program will need to be coordinated with the provinces, given their jurisdiction. CDA raised this with the Finance Minister’s office and will communicate more updates about the program as information becomes available.

CDA continues to be in direct contact with Federal Government departments about the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on dentists and their oral health teams.

Additionally, in preparation for businesses reopening and to help kick-start the economy, CDA has raised the concept of an incentive program for business owners who may be required to retrofit their offices based on new health requirements or guidelines.

Other Important Updates

CDA Secure Send Message Retention Period Extended to 60 Days:

Due to the large number of dental offices that are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, messages sent using CDA Secure Send will now be retained in the system for 60 days. Under normal circumstances, messages are retained for 30 days. Extending the retention period will provide dentists and/or dental office staff additional time to retrieve important messages.

When dental offices begin to resume normal business operations, the message retention period will return to 30 days to help minimize the risk of data exposure. CDA will issue a new notification before this retention change comes into effect.

CDA is in the process of communicating this update to all CDA Secure Send users, and Corporate Member Provincial Dental Associations (PDAs) are also encouraged to promote this information to dentists in their respective jurisdictions.

Point of Care Tests (Rapid Testing):

There have been a series of announcements for rapid testing related to existing COVID-19 tests, as well as new potential tests, that are at various stages of approval, development and production.

CDA is following these announcements closely, and has communicated directly with senior officials at Spartan, a Canadian company, about cost and availability.

Unfortunately, no test is currently available for use by dentists in Canada and it is unlikely that any test will become available for weeks, if not months. CDA is using this time to investigate the available technologies, their potential feasibility in dental offices, and the regulatory implications of their use to ensure that dentists have the information they need to make appropriate decisions when a test becomes available.


CHLIA has distributed the information provided by CDA to its members, namely the insurance companies that provide dental plans.

CDA has fielded questions from individual insurers, and provides information from a national perspective, underlining the need to contact PDAs for implementation details that are specific to each jurisdiction.

Insurance companies have started adding the designated teledentistry codes to plans, or have mapped it to codes that are already covered, to be able to adjudicate claims. CDA has received anecdotal reports that some claims are reimbursed.

CDA also continues to raise the issue of reimbursing claims for teledentistry services retroactively with CLHIA and will communicate any further updates as new information becomes available.

Privacy and electronic communications:

CDA contacted a privacy lawyer to provide general guidance for dentists regarding privacy requirements when they communicate with patients using electronic means. A draft document is currently out for review with the Corporate Member PDAs and will be finalized in the next week or two.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

  • Questions surrounding reopening for business:

    CDA is starting to receive more questions from dentists on how to prepare to open for business after social distancing restrictions have been lifted. Questions surround the type of PPE to have in stock and whether physical changes will be required to the dental office environment.

    At this point, it is still too early to suggest to dentists specific guidance or recommendations related to changes to the dental office environment. Corporate Member PDAs may want to consider informing dentists of not making any substantial changes to their practices, especially modifications that would result in significant financial investments.

    There are reports of dental offices that may be preparing to reopen in certain countries. CDA will be reaching out to the respective international dental associations and will report any findings that could be considered helpful and assist with planning for the resumption of practice in the Canadian context.

  • Fraudulent N-95 Respirators and health products making misleading claims:

    The COVID-19 pandemic has created tremendous pressure for organizations and individuals to obtain PPE. This has caused a rise in fraudulent/uncertified N95 respirators, as well as a range of other health products and novel inventions, that falsely claim to provide protection against COVID-19.

    These unapproved products are being sold online and in some stores and may not meet mandated safety and performance measures, therefore placing dental staff at risk.

    PPE such as N95 respirators are regulated by Health Canada and are manufactured or imported by companies that hold a Medical Device Establishment Licence. They are also certified by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and come with specific markings (logos) and other details (approval and numbers).

    PDAs are encouraged to notify dentists to only use approved suppliers to obtain PPE. Other helpful Health Canada tips include:

    • Confirm that your product has been certified by NIOSH by entering the approval number, which can be found on the respirator, in the NIOSH database.
    • Review the product package and respirator to ensure it has the appropriate markings and details, as required by NIOSH. This includes the TC (Testing and Certification) approval number (a number set by NIOSH), the name of the manufacturer, the NIOSH name or logo, the model number, and filter efficiency (N95).
    • Look at product markings, such as the name of the manufacturer, to determine whether there are any obvious signs that the product is counterfeit (e.g., incorrect spelling).
    • If your mask is fraudulent or uncertified, stop using it.
    • Report information on the potential false or misleading advertising or sale of unauthorized products to Health Canada.

Mask sterilization and reuse:

Work continues to determine whether N95 masks can be sterilized and reused. In the meantime, before reusing sterilized N95 masks, please monitor Health Canada’s medical device announcements.

CDA Help Desk:

Launched on April 6, 2020, CDA’s Help Desk remains available to assist dentists and dental office employees on how to navigate and access federal government support programs.

To date, 74 calls have been addressed by Help Desk staff. Ontario-based dentists continue to be redirected to ODA for information and services.

The Help Desk service can be reached by calling 1-866-232-0385, M-F, 7:30 A.M. – 8:00 p.m. EDT. CDA’s website is also available to users for more information about:

Knowledge and Information Broker:

CDA Oasis is CDA’s primary channel of communication for delivering urgent information to the dental community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CDA Oasis produces a series of Video Interviews with members of the CDA Board, CDA’s COVID-19 Team, and other relevant guests. The following three videos have been published this week:

  • Answering Your Questions about The TripleGuardTM Insurance Pandemic Coverage (April 17) In this video, Ed Dermit, President of CDSPI, speaks with Dr. John O’Keefe about the ongoing insurance coverage situation, and provides clarity on who is currently covered and what to expect when making a claim.
  • COVID-19: How Important is Point-of-Care Testing? (April 15) This video features CDA’s Dr. Burry who explains why there is such an interest in point-of-care testing and how it differs from laboratory testing. He also talks about the costs and what the Canadian provinces are currently doing about the provision of point-of-care testing.
  • Dental Care During and After the Pandemic (April 15) Dr. Burry discusses how the dental practice has changed during the pandemic. He talks about how COVID-19 protocols are affecting his daily practice, and the challenges of dealing with a more de-personalized experience for the patient.

This week’s CDA Oasis Bulletin collated relevant and timely “news that you can use” related to COVID-19.

CDA Essentials magazine is continuing its content creation and production process. Issue 2 of the magazine is available to read online. Issue 3 of the magazine is scheduled to be completed in May 2020.

The Knowledge Networks department continues to curate and disseminate the CDA Media Monitor email each day.

Mental Health and Wellness:

Maintaining good mental health and wellness continues to be a priority. Many organizations have developed apps to offer individuals mental health support, tips and other helpful information.

CDA is actively promoting available mental health and wellness support through CDSPI’s Members’ Assistance Program (MAP) via social media, its Help Desk service, and on its website. MAP can be accessed by calling 1.844.578.4040 or visiting CDA is monitoring the volume of inquires about CDSPI’s MAP program.

PDAs are encouraged to share available mental health and wellness programs with dentists in their respective jurisdictions, and are welcome to help promote CDSPI’s MAP program using these bilingual social media posts and graphic cards.

On April 13, CDA Oasis started featuring a daily wellness post. The following wellness posts were published this week:

  • Taking Care of You During the Pandemic! A look at the emotional challenges of living in a time of pandemic, and what can one do to cope better with this new reality. (This is an adapted text from the Morneau Shepell’s resource available through the CDSPI MAP program)
  • Your wellbeing – Tips for Working Remotely. In his video presentation Tips on Working Remotely, Ralph Schirg, an organizational psychologist from Minneapolis, discusses the challenges of working from home. (Morneau Shepell’s resource available through the CDSPI MAP program)

BCDA has a Dentist Wellness Program available for member dentists and their families.

A growing list of other available mental health and wellness resources is available in CDA’s COVID-19 Repository. PDAs are encouraged to access the information and share resources, as deemed appropriate.

Free counselling, referral and information service for dentists, dental office employees, and their families.


Banks have been receiving public criticism for not proactively supporting their customers and for such things as charging customers interest on interest for deferred payments on mortgages and/or loans. This can mean thousands of dollars being added to an individual’s principal.

This criticism has prompted some banks to air commercials speaking about what their service offerings to help customers throughout COVID-19.

Corporate Member PDAs are reminded to continue advising dentists to be proactive and contact their bankers and landlords for assistance in managing hardships. These discussions should not be delayed.

CDA COVID-19 Repository at a Glance:

New information and resources added!

CDA serves as a COVID-19 Repository for PDAs by collecting advice and available COVID-19 resources from external organizations and any sources that PDAs wish to share. The information is placed in the Repository and is exclusively available for use by the PDAs, for onward transmission to their respective dentist members, as deemed appropriate.

For quick reference, the following materials have been added to the Repository this week. For the complete resource listing, please log in to view them all. Login details on how to access the Repository are below.

Canadian Dental Association:

  • Updated! CDA’s Roadmap has been updated to reflect changes or amendments to several federal programs announced the week of April 16
  • Joint letter to the Canadian Bankers Association to start a dialogue about providing relief to students who are undertaking training to become healthcare professionals (April 7)
  • CDA Oasis Discussions:
    • The TripleGuard Insurance Pandemic: Ed Dermit, President of CDSPI, explains that the pandemic coverage included in the CDSPI Triple Guard insurance plan is somewhat unique to Canada. He clarifies the difference between Pandemic Outbreak Coverage and business interruption coverage, outlines the benefits of Pandemic Outbreak Coverage, and details how participating dentists can register a claim. (April 9)
    • Update on COVID-19: Personal Protective Equipment & Recommendations from Regulators: Dr. Sandy Mutchmor and Dr. Aaron Burry discussed developments in the supply and use of Personal Protective Equipment, the latest recommendations from Provincial regulators, and balancing the need to provide emergency care while maintaining proper social distancing. (April 9)
    • Cybersecurity During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Anne Genge, a certified Privacy Professional and CEO and Co-Founder of Alexio Corporation, a global healthcare cybersecurity company had a conversation with Chiraz Guessaier, talking through some key cybersecurity considerations, including how to choose the right teleconferencing platform, and how to access your office network safely from home. (April 9)
    • Helping Dentists Access Federal Support Programs, featuring an interview with CDA President, Dr. Alexander (Sandy) Mutchmor. (April 3)
    • Lifting confusion Around N-95 Masks, featuring an interview with President Elect of NLDA, Dr. Michelle Zwicker. (Apr 3)


International Resources:

Mental Health and Wellness:

  • Optimal Health Advice for Dental Professionals. A project created by Dr. Gordon Levin, DMD, of Duncan, BC. The website offers instructional videos for the dental team to reduce tightness and discomfort in joints and muscles, and lots of information to help lower stress levels.


Financial and Tax:

COVID-19 Repository Access: PDA Executive Directors and CDA Board Members have exclusive access to the CDA COVID-19 Repository via the CDA Board Resource Website:

Log-in: Please use your existing CDA Board Resources login credentials to access the COVID-19 Repository. If you have trouble logging in, please email Dean Smith, CDA Manager of Information Technology,

Share: To include your organization’s resources in the COVID-19 Repository, please email Zelda Burt, CDA Communications Manager,

The CDA COVID-19 Response Team works diligently on a range of fronts to help minimize and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the dental profession. CDA is working to address scientific, clinical, economic and business-related matters impacting dentistry, including efforts to increase awareness about the mental health and wellness of dentists, their families and dental office employees during these challenging times. CDA will communicate regular updates as new information becomes available.

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Canadian Dental Association
1815 Alta Vista Drive,
Ottawa, Ontario K1G 3Y6
Phone: 1-866-788-1212

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