There’s no denying the fact that the rapid spread of COVID-19 has challenged the healthcare landscape, evoking different speeds of reaction (and response types) worldwide. The role of dental professionals in preventing transmission of COVID-19 is its own unique case to consider. While routine dental care has been suspended during the pandemic, this won’t be the case for forever, and a post-corona dental plan needs to be considered.
Even before the travel bans, stay-at-home quarantine commands and social isolation orders, many general dental professionals reduced routine care for fear of spreading COVID-19 to patients and beyond. All healthcare providers have a moral obligation to care for their patients, a primary mission equally prominent in dentistry. The field is incredibly familiar with occupational health issues that other healthcare professionals experience, including Hepatitis B and C. In fact, it was publicly acknowledged by The New York Times that dentistry has the most risk of any profession in relation to the spread of Coronavirus specifically.
While regular surgical face masks used in dentistry offer around 80% filtration rate, this wouldn’t be appropriate during a time of crisis. While such masks are considered sufficient protection for elective dentistry under normal circumstances, knowing most patients are healthy, such is not the case under these conditions. Without appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), dentists cannot safely get back to practice when the world begins to modify stay-at-home orders.
Currently, many U.S. states are beginning the process of lifting certain business bans, allowing for non-emergency health care service providers return to practice. However, significant challenges in the PPE supply chain still remain, particularly for dental practitioners.
For states moving towards reopening, specific guidelines are to be strictly followed by dental offices. Guidelines include, but are not limited to, pre-screening patients for COVID-19 prior to service, reducing the number of in-person appointments by using online/phone strategies, staggering patient appointments to minimize contact, enactment of social distancing in waiting areas, attendance of appointments sans unnecessary company, recording of body temperature upon arrival (staff and patients), all dental personnel must use PPE consistent with CDC guidelines and so on. Guidelines to be updated timely and on a state by state basis.
If you’re personally seeking the immediate support of a protective facemask at this time, Sasomei is here to support you. We are committed to providing top-notch, high-quality products with your safety in mind and understand that together we can protect each other by protecting ourselves.