Dentists at lower risk of getting COVID-19

Studies by researchers at the University of Toronto and other Canadian universities have found that dentists are less likely to be infected with COVID-19 than the general public. Credit: Jeff Comber

Does close contact with the patient increase the risk of dentist infection with COVID-19?

According to a new study by researchers at the University of Toronto and three other Canadian universities, dentists are probably less likely to get the virus than the average person, perhaps counter-intuitively.

“When we started this study in July 2020, little was known about COVID-19,” said Professor Michael Grogauer of the University of Toronto School of Dentistry. dentist-Chief of University Health Network. “There was no vaccine and it was unclear how many vaccines there were. dangerous The dentist was actually involved with this virus. I wanted to properly assess how much risk I actually had. “

Research published in Journal of American Dental Association This fall, it was led by Associate Professor Sreenath Madathil of McGill University and co-authored by eight other researchers, including Professor Glogauer and Professor Carlos Quiñonez of the University of Toronto’s School of Dentistry.

The study is based on a sample of 644 dentists licensed across Canada from July 29, 200 to February 12, this year. Researchers used online questionnaires and self-collected oral swabs to track the incidence of COVID-19 in study participants.

Six people reported being infected with COVID-19 during the study period. The incidence was estimated to be 1,084 per 100,000 dentists, compared to 1,864 per 100,000 dentists. The general public At the same time, research says.

“I wasn’t too surprised by these results, as similar data were published in an American dentist study. Canada is taking more precautions,” Quiñones said. “What’s interesting is that the infection rates appear to be slightly higher in European jurisdictions, so something is different and we still don’t know exactly what we are trying to determine is the actual nature of the risk. And why do we see this differentiation in different parts of the world? “

Glogauer states that dentists are taking precautions to protect the general public, patients and dental office staff from outbreaks.

“We have the ability to upgrade PPE quickly and have taken many other steps to protect all these groups,” he says. “This study further demonstrates the safety of dental treatment. This study shows the ability of the profession to adapt quickly and there is data that we will continue to be a very safe profession.”

Quiñonez agrees, citing many reasons for the relatively low infection rates observed in this study. Personal protective equipmentAwareness and the fact that the dentist may be paying special attention outside of work.

“There is no explanation other than saying that the dentist is not infected with COVID-19,” he says. “This is just a quick glance at the inside, which means a lot is happening. Evidence base Here in Canada, it suggests that the risk of COVID-19 infection is potentially low, or at least controlled by what is happening in the dental office. This is good news. “

Grogauer says it’s a good time to ask if the current measures are appropriate or overly strict.

“This result can be used as a starting point to determine what measures are actually needed to keep the public, patients, clerical staff and dentists safe,” he says.

For more information:

Incidence of COVID-19 among dentists practicing in the Canadian community, Sreenath Madathil et al: 6-month prospective cohort study, Journal of American Dental Association (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.adaj.2021.10.006

Quote: Low risk dentists to get COVID-19 (November 23, 2021) from https: // on November 23, 2021 Got

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