CHICAGO – The American Association of Endodontists is strong in its stance that, amid a potential COVID-19 resurgence and reversion in many areas to tightened restrictions, teeth can and should continue to be saved by dental specialists known as endodontists. It is perfectly safe to visit your endodontist in the event of tooth pain and for root canal and emergency dental treatment. Not only do we firmly believe that teeth can continue to safely be saved in this new era; we want to emphasize that this care should not be delayed, even as so many other aspects of life have been put on hold. Putting off this important care can wreak havoc on your oral health and overall health, and can cause serious issues down the road.
To date, according to the CDC, there has been no documented transmission of COVID-19 in a clinical dental setting. Additionally, a study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association found the prevalence of COVID-19 among dentists to be less than one percent. Researchers from the ADA Science and Research Institute and the ADA Health Policy Institute are continuing to collect infection rate data. The preliminary data suggest the monthly incidence rate among dentists has remained below one percent.
Therefore, it becomes clear that good oral health – which in turn affects our overall health – should not be sacrificed in the effort to remain COVID-19 free. Patient and staff safety are of utmost concern to endodontists and the AAE. These root canal specialists have effectively been implementing ADA and CDC recommendations since the onset of the pandemic; and it is important to note that, even during the spring 2019 COVID-19 shutdown period, the vast majority – over 90 percent – of endodontic practices remained open for emergencies. Infection control has long been a part of endodontists’ regular protocol – long before the days of Coronavirus. And now, after a period of strengthening existing procedures even further, we can say with great confidence that it is safer than ever to visit an endodontist.
We also wish to strongly emphasize that amid a possible virus resurgence, it is of critical importance to see an endodontist in the event of an emergency, rather than dialing 911, as it is crucial to keep emergency rooms clear in these times. By visiting findmyendodontist.com, patients can easily find an AAE member endodontist in their area.
In conclusion, we stand by our initial patient statement, and we invite both the public and our own membership to visit aae.org/patients/covid/ for more valuable resources around COVID-19. We also recommend viewing this important video message from AAE President Dr. Alan H. Gluskin.