We are all doing the best we can to navigate the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. For those of us in the dental profession, this means looking to organizations like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and American Dental Association (ADA) for guidance on how to keep patients safe and prevent the spread of infection at our offices.
Recently, the WHO issued a recommendation that routine dental care should be delayed until the COVID-19 pandemic is under control. This is at odds with recommendations from both the CDC and ADA. When these organizations issue conflicting guidance, it can be confusing for patients and, even worse, it may lead to them putting off much-needed dental care.
Massachusetts Dental Society’s Response to WHO Dental Care Recommendations
The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) issued a statement this month to weigh in on the debate. Our team at NSBENDO agrees with MDS’s position: oral healthcare is essential and should not be delayed due to COVID-19.
The risks involved in delaying dental care are much higher than the risk of going to the dentist, particularly in Massachusetts where there is currently no evidence of community spread. Residents of Massachusetts can safely receive both routine and emergency dental care.
Our team has always prioritized infection control, even before COVID-19, and have implemented additional safety measures to keep our patients and team members safe. These measures have been designed to address the specific ways in which COVID-19 spreads—we’ve reconfigured our office, increased the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and continue to minimize the production of aerosols and prevent transmission via respiratory droplets.
Although we believe that oral health and overall health are closely linked and all dental care is essential, we also know that endodontic care is especially necessary, as putting off treatment can lead to severe pain, infection, and further damage to the teeth and surrounding tissues. Our doctors are in agreement with the CDC, ADA, and MDS—the WHO guidelines put patients at risk.
We will continue to monitor the situation locally and look to professional health and dental organizations for guidance. You can feel confident knowing that your safety and the safety of our team members is our top priority.
Learn More About How NSBENDO Is Keeping Patients Safe During COVID-19
We understand that many of our patients have concerns about receiving endodontic treatment during the pandemic. We’ve shared our COVID-19 safety protocols on our website and we also welcome the opportunity to discuss any concerns you might have prior to your appointment. Contact us to learn more or schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.