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Why dental community is an easy target for coronavirus?

Health care workers are the soldiers on the front lines fighting with this contagious disease, especially dentists.

By Suhaib Ahsan

The general public may not be aware of the realities of health care in general and certainly not during this pandemic. As pandemic disease COVID-19 is spreading rapidly. Hospital staffs such as doctors, dentists and nurses are the easiest target to be affected from coronavirus.

Are dentists more at risk?

In short, yes. Because we have seen condition of China, Iran, Italy and many other where medical staff who were treating the COVID-19 patients were themselves found to be positive with COVID and some of them have died.

In Spain the Health Ministry has confirmed that out of 40,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, 5,400 which makes nearly around 14 percent were medical professionals

The reason behind high exposure:

  • Repeated exposure to infected patients.
  • Exposure to some extreme potential cases of COVID-19.
  • Exposure to all sorts of other diseases.
  • Missed to use precautionary measure due stress or emergency cases  

All of above situation makes them more at risk for having a severe coronavirus infection.

What Should Dentists Do?

To minimize the risk of cross infection during this COVID-19 outbreak dentists should  

Evaluate Patients First

  1. Establish pre-check triages to
  •  Measure and record the temperature of every staff and patient
  • Ask patients about their health status
  • Ask about their travelling history.
  1. Accompanying persons should also be provided with medical masks.
  1. Patients with fever should be referred to designated hospitals immediately.

Take Safety Measures

  1. Take strict personal protection measure
  2. Face shields and goggles are essential
  3. Minimize operations that can produce droplets
  4. Use of saliva ejectors to reduce the production of droplets
  5. Antimicrobial mouth rinse could reduce the number of microbes
  6. Procedures that are likely to induce coughing should be avoided.

Can Dentists/ doctor stay at home for their safety?

Dr.Sgarbi from Italy told in his interview to CNN

We aren’t heroes, we are just doing our jobs, and right now our jobs are asking more of us in a time when we have fewer resources to work with. We are doing this because we care

Therefore, we all should appreciate our medical staff out there who are working tirelessly around the clock to provide lifesaving care to us from this deadly coronavirus disease.

March 26, 2020

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