Dental practices are adapting how they work in and around a patient’s mouth to account for this complicated reality. Dentists are screening patients for symptoms, limiting the number of appointments in a day, implementing stringent sanitation protocols and wearing more protective equipment to guard against the respiratory disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization suggest that respiratory droplets expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or breathes are the primary way the virus spreads. But the CDC reports there’s “no data available to assess the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission during dental practice.”
The Washington Post has been fielding thousands of reader questions about life during the coronavirus pandemic and many have asked whether they should go to upcoming dentist appointments. Dentists and public-health experts are concerned that Americans are putting off routine cleanings, which could compound health issues in the months or years