Find below helpful answers to a compilation of frequently asked questions by our members.

Is there a personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage, and why is the cost of PPE so high?

The challenges around PPE in Australia are multifaceted, with increase in demand due to COVID-19 around the globe, trade barriers, manufacturing restrictions and international competition we are seeing both an increase in price and ongoing acquisition challenges for local suppliers.

The ADA is working with suppliers to maintain a list of in stock PPE at ada.org.au/Covid-19. Any members that are experiencing genuine PPE shortages (after exploring all opportunities through existing suppliers) can contact the ADA directly (contact@ada.org.au) to purchase a small amount of emergency (at cost) P2/N9 masks, to get you through to your next order.

The ADA continues to encourage suppliers to prioritise dental customers, charge reasonable costs and wherever possible maintain supplies at reasonable levels, however suppliers are incurring additional costs (particularly air freight) to source and distribute PPE and this is reflected in the increasing purchase price.

Please be patient with suppliers, we are all in this together and everyone is doing their very best to give you what you need when you need it.

Can I treat a patient who has recovered from COVID-19?

Yes. Sometimes patients will have written confirmation of clearance, but this might not always be the case, and they usually won’t have a negative test to ‘prove’ they no longer have COVID-19.

Patients will be released from isolation according to the following criteria:

  • Confirmed cases who were asymptomatic will be released 10 days after the first positive PCR swab was taken and no symptoms have developed in this period
  • Confirmed cases who had mild symptoms and were not hospitalised will be released if 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms and they have remained symptom-free for the past 72 hours
  • Confirmed cases with more sever symptoms who have been hospitalised will be released if 10 days have passed since hospital discharge and they have remained symptom-free for the past 72 hours.

Patients should be able to provide evidence of the date of their positive test (usually an SMS). It is important as part of the screening to ask:

  • When did the patient test positive?
  • Did they have symptoms?
  • Where they hospitalised?

Use this information and the criteria above to determine whether the patient should be out of isolation and therefore safe to treat.