Less than 1% of dentists were found to be COVID-19 positive, according to a new report.
In a first-of-its-kind analysis, the conclusion was based on US data collected in June 2020. The result is well below that of other health professionals in the country.
Additionally, it found that 99% of dentists are following enhanced cross infection control procedures. For example, this includes ramped up disinfection processes and screening protocols.
Published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, the researchers say it is clear dentists are following stringent measures.
Very good news
‘This is very good news for dentists and patients,” said Marcelo Araujo, the senior author of the report.
‘This means that what dentists are doing – heightened infection control and increased attention to patient and dental team safety – is working.’
The team analysed nearly 2,200 dentists, where 16.6% reported getting a COVID-19 test. Aligning the results with dentist demographically and geographically, they found an estimated prevalence of 0.9% (with a margin error of 0.5%).
‘Understanding the risks associated with COVID-19 transmission in the dental setting is critical to improving patient and dental team safety,’ added Dr. Araujo.
‘This study brings us another step forward in understanding what works. Dentists are following ADA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. It’s helping to keep the dental team and their patients as safe as possible.’
Far lower prevalence
‘The fact that dentistry was named an at-risk profession for infection, but has a far lower prevalence of infection compared to other health professions, is not a coincidence,” said Marko Vujicic, vice president of the ADA Health Policy Institute.
‘The profession has taken this issue extremely seriously, and it shows. We will continue to track the rate of COVID-19 among dentists and other facets of the pandemic affecting dentistry.
‘This is so it can help inform the dental profession and other industries as well.’
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