Early on in Covid times, there was significant concern that dental offices could be a major source of infection for both patients and dentists. But don’t worry, your dentist probably won’t catch COVID-19. That’s what the American Dental Association is telling the public.
The findings of a recent study showed that less than 1 percent of dentists nationwide have been found to be COVID-19 positive, which is far less than that of other health professionals.The study also suggested that the low percentage of the spread was reported as dentists are using enhanced infection control procedures, including screening protocols and enhanced disinfection practices while treating their patients. American Dental Association (ADA) Science and Research Institute Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Araujo, senior author of the report, said in a statement: “This is very good news for dentists and patients.”. “The study brings us another step forward in understanding what works,” Marcelo Araujo, DDS, MS, PhD, American Dental Association Science and Research Institute chief executive officer and a senior author of the report, said in a press release.
Dental offices are taking all of the necessary precautions to keep their patients and staff safe.
The ADA’s guidance urged dentists to wear the highest level of personal protective equipment (PPE) available — masks, goggles, and face shields.
So, should you go to the dentist during COVID-19?
Yes. It is safe and people should continue to go for their regular cleanings and checkups. Earlier in the pandemic, the World Health Organization recommended patients delay all routine oral care due to COVID-19. Dental offices are taking all of the necessary precautions to keep their patients and staff safe. If you are concerned, ask your dentist’s office what precautions they have put in place in order to keep infection risk low. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all dental offices follow these guidelines:
Calling patients before their appointment to ask about their health status
Requiring patients and staff to wear facial coverings inside the office
Recommending, if possible, the patient visit alone
Temperature check patients upon arrival
Encourage social distancing
Making sure their dental staff are wearing the appropriate PPE during appointments
If your dental office is following these guidelines and regularly cleaning their facility, then you should feel comfortable going to your regular checkups.