The virus was officially given its name on February 11, 2020, by the World Health Organization. The abbreviation of coronavirus is COVID-19. It is important to note here that it is a new type of disease and has not been previously seen or recorded in humans. Currently, Coronavirus has killed more than 10,000
globally with over 250,000 cases worldwide.
There is no doubt that Coronavirus has engulfed the entire world. As of today, more than 176 countries have been impacted by it and there seems to be no stopping it any time soon. Coronavirus originated from a city in China, Wuhan. For the last five months, it has been spreading gradually and silently and only came in the limelight once it became more viral.
While Wuhan no longer has any new cases of Corona and has been able to take control, the rest of the world is in a different situation. On top of the list are Italy and Iran, which have been impacted the most till now. Although other countries are in the initial phases, it would not be an exaggeration to say that things do not look promising in the near future if precautions are not taken.
While COVID-19 cases in the US are currently relatively low, with social distancing and quarantine, it is expected that the spreading of Corona can be avoided on a mass scale. The majority of the companies and corporations have asked their employees to work from home and practice as much social distancing as possible. But when it comes to healthcare providers like doctors, nurses, dentists, and surgeons - they cannot just remain at home.
Coronavirus and Healthcare providers
As health care providers, it is our responsibility to be aware of the recommended steps that should be taken to protect ourselves and patients from it. While the transmission of the disease is still being investigated, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it seems to be an airborne pathogen. Every time a healthcare provider gets in contact with a Coronavirus patient, it is important they are wearing a mask, preferably an N95 respirator. The mask should fit tightly around the mouth and nose, to stop any particles to get near you.
As the situation has exacerbated in the last month, there has been a limit on the number of masks that can be ordered by dental centers. Therefore it is important that know a few things:
If you have a surgical mask and use it during a dental checkup, do not reuse it.
Any item that is labeled as ‘single-use’ by CDC should only be used once.
The outer surface of the mask gets contaminated and becomes hazardous for the person wearing it again.
Practices for Dental Professionals
Dentists and staff should adhere strictly to the guidelines and recommendations written in the handout by ADA. According to the chair of ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, Dr. Maria Geisinger, “The use of standard precautions within the dental workplace and acquiring a thorough history of symptoms and potential exposure for patients is critical for dental health care professionals to maintain a healthy working environment, whether the concern is flu, 2019-NCOV or other transmissible illnesses”.
Here are some of the standard precautions that should be followed:
- Hand hygiene: it has been said time and again that coronavirus can spread via handshakes and touching, therefore dentists should always wash their hands before getting in contact with a patient and after the procedure ends. Hand hygiene needs to be a top priority.
- Use protective equipment: Always use gloves, masks, and eyewear when getting in contact with a patient. A number of patients do not have any symptoms of coronavirus until later stages so be careful.
- Sterile instruments & devices: It has been brought to public attention that coronavirus can live on surfaces, therefore sterile your devices and instruments more than you usually do.
- When it comes to pediatric dentistry, extra care needs to be taken by dentists.
- Dentists should ask the travel history of patients before doing the dental screening to know the state of the patient as accurately as possible.
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Just because coronavirus is impacting the entire globe, doesn’t mean other dental issues and health
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Under these unfortunate circumstances, at iSmile we take extra precautions to ensure that our
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Do not forget to take care of your mental, physical and dental health. It is important that you continue your routine like you used to and do not take anything for granted. Wishing you the best for you!