Risk of Catching COVID at the Dentist is Low, Reports Say

According to recent studies, Dental treatment won’t put you at risk for contracting COVID-19. “Getting your teeth cleaned does not increase your risk for COVID-19 infection any more than drinking a glass of water from the dentist’s office does,” said lead author Purnima Kumar, a professor of periodontology at Ohio State University in Columbus. COVID-19 spreads through airborne droplets, that have concerned patients about visiting their local dentist. In the study, Kumar’s team analyzed the genetic makeup of organisms found in air samples during a range of dental procedures and discovered water solution from irrigation tools – not saliva – was the source of any potential bacteria or viruses in the spatter and spurts from patients’ mouths.

“These findings should help us open up our practices, make ourselves feel safe about our environment and, for patients, get their oral and dental problems treated — there is so much evidence emerging that if you have poor oral health, you are more susceptible to COVID,” Kumar said in a university news release. “Hopefully this will set their mind at rest because when you do procedures, it is the water from the ultrasonic equipment that’s causing bacteria to be there. It’s not saliva. So the risk of spreading infection is not high,” Kumar said. “However, we should not lose sight of the fact that this virus spreads through aerosol, and speaking, coughing or sneezing in the dental office can still carry a high risk of disease transmission.”

So what does that mean for patients and dentists? Dentists, like Dr. Greenbaum, have been exercising thorough cleaning and disinfecting habits to reduce risk of infection for patients and staff. Gloves, layered medical grade masks and protective shields keep his staff and himself safe. Dr. Greenbaum has hand sanitation stations and complimentary disposable face masks for his patients. Practicing social distancing, personal hygiene and wearing face masks (even when vaccinated) are positive habits to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To find out more about how Dr. Greenbaum and his staff are keeping their patients safe, please reach out to the office.

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Source: The findings were published May 12 in the Journal of Dental Research.

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