Cleanings

Avoid dental cleanings and other routine visits to the dentist for now

You should delay your routine dental cleaning until the coronavirus pandemic eases, according to new guidance from the World Health Organization. Dentists, hygienists, and other oral care providers have a heightened risk of contracting COVID-19 and passing it to patients because “they are in close contact with their patients’ mouths, use spray-generating equipment that produces airborne particles, [and] are exposed to saliva, blood and body fluids,” WHO said.

“WHO advises that routine non-essential oral health care—such as check-ups, dental cleanings, and preventive care—be delayed until there has been sufficient reduction in COVID-19 transmission rates,” the U.N. agency said.

Almost three-quarters of countries surveyed said that the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted dental services—higher than for any other type of essential service,

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A Dentist And A Hygienist Describe How COVID-19 Disrupts Even Routine Teeth Cleanings | KCUR 89.3

Dental offices across Kansas closed for more than a month to make sure they weren’t using up critical personal protective equipment needed at hospitals.

Now many are beginning to clean molars and bicuspids again.

Brian Grimmett of the Kansas News Service spoke with David Lawlor, a dentist, and Julie Martin, the president of the Kansas Dental Hygienists’ Association, to find out what you can expect when you go and how they’re trying to keep patients and employees safe.


The interviews were performed separately. The questions and answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.


Kansas News Service: What are the expectations for getting back up and running?

David Lawlor: We’ve been pushing patients back for six weeks. I think at first people originally we’re trying to do their best to deal with it. If it’s something I can put off for a while I will. But

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