Dentists and Managing COVID in Their Practices

Research indicates Dentists are doing Great job managing COVID in their Dental Practices.

Although findings are based on the last 6 months, they suggest dental professionals were at much lower risk for clinical transmission of coronavirus than feared thanks to increased safety precautions. The report, titled “Estimating COVID-19 prevalence and infection control practices among US dentists,” found that 99.7% of dentists used greater infection control procedures, such as screening protocols and enhanced disinfection practices.

“This is very good news for dentists and patients,” said Marcelo Araujo, DDS, PhD, MS, in an American Dental Association press release. “This means that what dentists are doing—heightened infection control and increased attention to patient and dental team safety—is working.” Dr. Araujo serves as chief science officer of the ADA.

The findings are believed to be the first large-scale collection of US dentists’ infection rates and infection control practices related to COVID-19. The authors, who include members of the ADA Science and Research Institute and Health Policy Institute, are continuing to collect data

“Understanding the risks associated with COVID-19 transmission in the dental setting is critical to improving patient and dental team safety,” said Dr. Araujo. “This study brings us another step forward in understanding what works. Dentists are following ADA and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, and it’s helping to keep the dental team and their patients as safe as possible.”

Currently, the rate of positive tests in LA County is about 7.3%. Dentists, who have incorporated strict infection control guidelines such as asking COVID risk assessments before they are appointed, temperature taking upon arrival, strict limiting of patients in office, and virtually no interaction of one patient with another, have limited the rate of infection among dentists to .09%.

Dentists have done a remarkable job of keeping their staff, themselves, and their patients safe, while providing for the ongoing treatment needs of their patients.