The World Health Organization is urging people to postpone dental visits, cleanings and checkups during the coronavirus pandemic.
WHO recommends postponing “non-essential oral health care”, including cleansing and preventative care, until there is a reduction in transmission rate because dentists work “close to patients’ faces for extended periods”, according to guidelines issued this week past.
“Their procedures include face-to-face communication and frequent exposure to saliva, blood and other body fluids and the handling of sharp instruments,”; the instruction said. “Consequently, they have a high risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 or passing the infection on to patients.”
People should seek care in emergency procedures “essential to maintaining a person’s oral functioning,” the WHO said.
For those cases, the WHO recommends remote control of patients, wearing masks, social distancing, and maintaining ventilation in the premises to prevent transmission of the virus.
“Dental health care personnel use instruments such as dental ones [drills], ultrasonic scalers and air water syringes that create a visible spray that may contain water particles, saliva, blood, microorganisms and other debris, “said Michele Neuburger, a dental officer for the CDC Oral Health Division and a member of the CDC The COVID-19 Reaction Infection Prevention Control Team, said NPR.
The American Dental Association recommended that dentists postpone election procedures to Mars.
Dentists’ offices were allowed to reopen in every state in June, The New York Times reported. Since then, dentists and hygienists have donated personal protective equipment head-to-toe for appointments.
“It’s like changing from a spatial garment,” said Dr. Todd Bertman, who works in Manhattan. “It’s annoying like hell, but that’s what goes down until we find a vaccine.”
More than 5.1 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S. and more than 164,000 people have died nationwide since Aug. 11, according to Johns Hopkins University.