WHO recommends delay of routine dental checkup during pandemic

WHO has said that exceptions could be made in case of emergencies or special cases

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While the world continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, the cases continue to surge in the absence of a vaccine. Going for regular dental checkups has also become a challenge. Some are going to the dentists only in terms of an emergency, but there are also people who wish to go for a regular dental checkup. However, looking at the current scenario, the World Health Organization has recommended to avoid going for a routine dental checkup as a safety measure.

There are some of the procedures like regular checkups, dental cleanings and other preventive care that could be delayed and are not terms as urgent. The WHO has recommended that such procedures could be delayed as a safety measure to reduce the transmission rate. The recommendations have been made for the reason that the dentists work in close proximity with the patient’s faces for a prolonged time and this could pose a risk for the patient as well as the doctor who is treating.

The guidance from the WHO said that the dental procedures involves a face to face communication along with constant exposure to saliva, blood and other body fluids and involves dealing with sharp instrument. This also puts the patients as well as the medical practitioner at high risk of being infected with SARS-COV-2. But WHO has also said that exceptions could be made in terms of emergency.

The global health body has also noted that some of the equipments that are used by the dentists include spray in the dental settings that can produce aerosols and include the cleaning of the ultrasonic scalers and polishing. The generation of aerosols means that there are high chances of rapid contamination of the surfaces and a potential infection. The dentists are also advised to wear medical masks all the time and use face shields if the masks are in shortage. It has also been recommended to increase the ventilation in the offices and disinfect the surfaces regularly.

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