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By Savannah Koplon
Data published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) shows that less than 1% of dentists in the United States were found to have COVID-19. The data was collected in June during a peak in the pandemic. The study also found that 99.7% of dentists are using enhanced infection control and prevention measures.
During the initial pandemic period, dentistry was thought to be among the highest-risk professions due to proximity with patients and aerosol-generating dental procedures. The new data may indicate that dentists’ baseline infection control, prevention measures, and personal protective equipment – as well enhanced safety measures – may minimize risk and create safe treatment environments for dentists, dental staff, and patients.
“The extremely low infection rate supports the effectiveness of the recommendations from the American Dental Association, CDC and other agencies in helping to keep the dental team and their patients as safe as possible,” said Dr. Mia Geisinger, professor of periodontology at the UAB School of Dentistry and a co-author of the report. “The bottom line is that the dental profession has taken this issue extremely seriously, and it shows. This means that what dentists are doing – heightened infection control and increased attention to patient and dental team safety – is working.”
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