GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned dental patients and staff to be more protected from any potential coronavirus infection as dentists return to work.
There is no official data on the spread of coronavirus from the dentist’s chair, the said, calling for more research into common procedures that produce tiny floating particles that may cause infection if inhaled.
These include three-way air, water spray, ultrasonic cleaning equipment that removes deposits from the tooth surface, and polishing, the WHO said.
“WHO guidance recommends in case of community transmission to give priority to urgent or emergency oral cases, to avoid or minimize procedures that may generate an aerosol, prioritise a set of clinical interventions that are performed using an instrument to delay routine non-essential oral health care,” Benoit Varenne, a WHO dental officer said.
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He added, “The likelihood of COVID-19 being transmitted through aerosol, micro-particles, or airborne particles. Today I think is unknown, it’s open to question at least. This means that more research is needed.”
The WHO last month released general guidelines on the transmission of the coronavirus which acknowledged some reports of airborne transmission.