Dental Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Victorian dentists are permitted to provide dental care to patients with certain restrictions applying in various parts of Victoria.
Last updated 13 October 2021.
COVIDSafe dental care
It is safe to attend dental appointments (in accordance with current government restrictions), as dental practices have strict infection control procedures in place, and other measures to protect patients and staff, including COVIDSafe Plans.
Dental practices will ask patients if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been somewhere that may have exposed them to COVID-19 before dental appointments. It is important that you check and inform your dentist if you have been at one of the exposure sites listed here before attending the dentist. Your dentist may defer some non-urgent dental care if you are currently experiencing symptoms or have been to a COVID-19 exposure site recently.
If you have been to an exposure site, or been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 and are required to quarantine, or you are experiencing cold and flu symptoms, please delay your dental appointment and get tested for COVID-19. You must stay at home and isolate until you receive your test result. For further information, visit the Victorian Department of Health website or call the Victorian coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
Do I need to tell my dentist my vaccination status?
Your dentist might ask you your vaccination status as part of their screening process. They will do this to help understand the risk for you and other patients in the clinic. You do not have to provide this information, but it would be useful to do so.
Can a dentist refuse to treat me if I am not vaccinated?
Yes, as long as the refusal is not based on any ground of discrimination (i.e. age, gender, race, religion, disability, sexual preference, physical appearance, etc). There are no public health directions from the Victorian Government that require dental patients to be fully vaccinated in order to receive care. However, a dental practice may have a policy to only treat vaccinated patients. This might be to protect vulnerable staff or family members. The ADAVB supports the evidence that vaccination for COVID-19 is effective in protecting dental staff and patients. If you are not currently vaccinated, then you should check the policy of your dental practice before attending your appointment. If you have a medical exemption from vaccination, then you should discuss this with your dentist.
My dentist wants me to have a COVID-19 test prior to treatment.
Some dental practices may have a policy to require a COVID-19 test prior to treatment, including the use of rapid antigen tests. There are no public health directions from the Victorian Government that require dental patients to show proof of a recent COVID-19 negative test result to receive dental care. However, a dental practice may have a policy that requires evidence of a COVID-19 test prior to treatment.
Caring for your teeth
For tips and advice about taking care of your oral health, view our fact sheets. We have a range of fact sheets freely available to download with vital information about caring for your teeth, including two new 'COVID-19 pandemic: Getting your dental health back on track' fact sheets.