COVID-19: Experts caution against dental visits unless specialists says so

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Due to the alarming spikes of COVID-19 cases around the world, experts attribute these to a lot of factors like in the United States, health officials point out the recent protests and change in travel restrictions. Hence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are reminding the public about social distancing and all other precautionary measures once more. Due to the highly contagious nature of the 2019 novel coronavirus, many are afraid to even see their doctors. Now, those who want to see their dentist are encouraged to do so with extra care.

Last month, it was reported by hospitals that some cancer patients opted to miss out on their checkups and treatments. This was allegedly due to published findings wherein people with preexisting conditions are at a higher risk of death form SARS-CoV-2 infection. Given that studies confirm transmission happens when one inhales respiratory droplets from individuals who are infected, dentists are among the many medical practitioners who are more likely to be exposed.

However, The Washington Post is reporting that dental professionals are taking the necessary steps for the safety of their patients. These include limited appointments, screening for symptoms, wearing personal protective equipment, and following strict sanitary procedures among others. In fact, the CDC outlines in their website that there is “no data available to assess the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission during dental practice.”

Meanwhile, until biotech companies announced that a vaccine for the 2019 nCoV is available, adjustments must be made to abide by the protocols issued by healthcare authorities. Unless someone needs an emergency procedure, they should contact their specialist and discuss the best course of action. It is also worth considering the number of cases in a specific area to come up with a thorough decision.


A dentist treats a patient April 13, 2017 in Quimper, western France.
TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Dentists also recommend that people continue to brush their teeth and floss for overall oral health. Another comparison being made is that unlike establishments such as bars, hair salons, barber shops, and others, a dental clinic is less likely to be unprepared for matters related to COVID-19 prevention. Nevertheless, the World Health Organization (WHO) still urges folks to remain indoors as much as possible.