MARCH 20, 2020 — With COVID-19 officially declared a national emergency, the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) is continuing to monitor the situation very closely and take necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of our patients, families, endodontists, dental staff and teams.
In order for the dental industry to do its part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, members of the AAE will postpone non-emergency procedures for the next three weeks and focus primarily on emergency dental care for emergency patients. If you are experiencing severe dental pain, dental infection symptoms (e.g. bleeding, swelling) or a dental infection-related fever, please contact your endodontist immediately or go to findmyendodontist.com to find a local endodontist.
Practicing dentists (all specialties), dental auxiliaries and dental laboratories currently apply infection control procedures as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association. These include use of the rubber dam, masks and high evacuation suction. Along with the standard safety and sterilization precautions regularly implemented, dental offices are taking additional prevention steps including:
- Screening patients for travel history
- Monitoring patients for signs and symptoms of infections
- Having patients fill out a COVID-19 screening questionnaire
- Having all staff, patients, family members wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon arrival
- Implementing full contact and respiratory precautions by using gowns, gloves, face shield protection, and goggles
- Implementing safe work practices including keeping hands away from face, limiting surfaces touches, changing gloves when torn or heavily contaminated, and performing hand hygiene.
- Frequently cleaning and disinfecting public areas, including door handles, bathrooms, chairs and front desks
The health and safety of our patients, endodontists and staff remains our number one priority. Oral health can have a strong effect on overall health, so it is important to continue practicing active and appropriate oral hygiene. Please consider the following tips to continuing maintaining your oral health and preventing the chance for infection:
- Wash your hands BEFORE and AFTER brushing and flossing
- Brush twice a day and remember to clean your tongue
- Keep your toothbrush clean by rinsing your toothbrush with water after brushing and storing in an upright position so it air-dries
- Use mouthwash containing fluoride
We will continue to adapt our approach as needed as the situation evolves and additional government guidance is issued.
Please refer to the CDC's COVID-19 webpage for information about the coronavirus disease.