NADL Advises on Essential vs Non-Essential

Posted on March 23, 2020

The National Association of Dental Laboratories posted an answer to what it says has been the primary question it has received recently:

"Based on continuing developments by California, New Jersey, Florida, Illinois and New York, and soon to be more state Governors and in some case local county/city ordinances, NADL is receiving questions on how businesses are defined as it relates to essential or non-essential.

"In most of the state Governor executive orders executed thus far, dental offices are mentioned within the essential category, further, most orders use the wording that essential businesses includes but is not limited to hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental offices….key words are includes but is not limited to;

"It is NADL’s belief that in most cases depending on the specific wording in your state, county or city, dental laboratories likely fall into the essential business category (that is if you make the business decision to actually stay open).

"This assessment is based on several arguments:

"1. Dental laboratories according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Acts are defined as a "health care provider."

"2. Under the North American Industry Classification Code, NAICS Code 339116: dental laboratories are defined as establishments that are primarily engaged in manufacturing dentures, crowns, bridges, and orthodontic appliances customized for individual application. The parent NAICS code where dental laboratories is NAICS 33911 which is listed under - Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing

"3. In those states where dental laboratories are required to register in order to operate, they pay registration and or license fees to either state Boards of Dentistry and/or state Departments of Health.

"Lastly, if dental offices are allowed to stay open even if it’s just to perform emergency or urgent care, there are specific procedures that have been listed as allowable, that would require the services of a dental laboratory to assist in completion of such work, in order for the dentist to treat the patient.

"This is not meant to construe a legal opinion, as each city, county, state may have different and or more specific wording in the essential business definitions. However, absent dental laboratories not being specifically named as non-essential in city, county, state orders, these factors should provide positive footing if you choose to keep your dental laboratory operational in some capacity."

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