Safety Protocols for Dental Offices: What You Need to Know

Dental care is an essential part of maintaining overall health and wellbeing, and regular checkups help to prevent small issues from becoming serious dental emergencies. In the era of COVID-19, it is important to understand the safety protocols that dental offices should follow in order to protect both patients and staff. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends a combination of standard precautions, contact precautions, and precautions against drops, including eye protection. For category 1 patients, dental treatment can be provided in a dental center.

A recent study has outlined a protocol that details the safety and operational measures that should be taken during the provision of dental care in the era of COVID-19. Dental offices have always followed strict infection control practices, which have been further improved with all the additional health and safety recommendations related to COVID-19. These “suggestive guidelines” may change in the coming days due to changes in disease patterns, the emergence of new treatments against the virus, and reports of upcoming trials that investigate the effectiveness of safety and treatment protocols in the dental office. Dental health professionals are considered to be at high risk of infection due to the new coronavirus, due to face-to-face communication with patients, exposure to saliva and blood during dental treatment, and procedures that generate aerosols. The operating and safety protocols outlined by the authors seem comprehensive, and dentists should adapt them if they provide dental care in emergency or urgent situations during this era of COVID-19.