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Small risk of infection at the dentist

Small risk of infection at the dentist


  • The risk of contracting Covid-19 in the dental office is very low.
  • The bacteria in saliva are not dropped onto the device or into the air in practice.
  • Historically, dentists have applied strict hygiene rules that limit the spread of viruses and bacteria in their practices.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our habits and relationship with trivial actions. Going to the dentist is one of them. With severe infection with this virus, which mainly involves the excretion of small and large droplets, it is not reassuring to go to an office where all patients take off their masks. In addition, the aerosols produced by some dental instruments are Accused of spreading the virus through the air And on things scattered saliva of sick patients. However, according to a study just published in the medical journal Dental Research JournalIn dentists, the risk of developing SARS-CoV-2 infection is very low.

There are no traces of Covid-19 in the office, even if the patient is a carrier

To achieve this result, the researchers analyzed – before and after the act – samples of equipment worn, used by staff, or found in the dental clinic. This is for example a patient chair or an apron. After examining them, they concluded that the aqueous solution the dentist used was present on these different surfaces more than saliva. More reassuringly, even when patients were asymptomatic and their saliva contained the virus, the aerosol did not contain traces of SARS-CoV-2. These findings should help us open up about our practices, feel safe in our environment, and, for patients, treat their oral problems. Says Purnima Kumar, lead author of this study and professor of Periodontology. There is a growing body of evidence that oral health is poor It makes you more vulnerable to Covid-19.

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During the actions, saliva does not spread into the air

In all analyzes, saliva represented only 0.1% to 1.2% of the microbes distributed in the room. And sometimes she wasn’t there at all. According to the authors, these good results are also due to the strict hygiene rules that dentists have been applying for a long time: preventive advice and systematic disinfection of all their tools, regular ventilation for exercise, etc. The Covid-19 pandemic has strengthened these protocols, by including, for example, new ventilation systems, additional aerosol extraction equipment or even breaks between patients to clean the entire room.

Put your mask on at the end of the process

Dental surgeons and their teams have always been at the forefront of the fight against bacteria, of course they weren’t feeling safe. (At the beginning of the epidemic) Because they were on the front line with aerosolsPurnima Kumar insists. I hope they will be reassured because during the actions, it is the water in the equipment that causes the presence of bacteria. It is not a saliva. Therefore, the risk of infection spreading is not high.“However, at the end of the dental procedure, it is necessary to wear your mask. In fact, the risk of transmission is much greater if a patient speaks or coughs or sneezes in the office than if they have had a descaling procedure there.