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Research is first descriptive study examining emergency dental patients at epicenter of COVID-19 outbreak

For Immediate Release

CHICAGO – The AAE has published on its website a research article on COVID-19 and endodontic emergencies in Wuhan, China. The article is also being fast-track published on the Journal of Endodontics’ website, www.jendodon.com.

In late-2019, an outbreak of a new coronavirus, named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was detected in Wuhan, China. A great percentage of patients with this disease developed symptoms of dry cough, malaise and high fever. During this time, several patients requiring assessment and treatment of endodontic emergencies were directed to the School and Hospital of Stomatology at Wuhan University (WHUSS). Here, the characteristics of these patients were examined.

Characteristics of Endodontic Emergencies during COVID-19 Outbreak in Wuhan” aimed to analyze the characteristics of endodontic emergency patients at WHUSS between February 22 and March 2, 2020, and is the first descriptive study that examines emergency dental patients at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. It also provides suggestions for endodontic practice and infection control strategies based on these novel observations.

The research was conducted by corresponding author Dr. Dan Zhao of State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Basic Science of Stomatology (Hubei-MOST) and Key Laboratory of Oral Biomedicine Ministry of Education, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University.

The study concludes that endodontic emergencies consist of a much higher portion of dental emergencies in a COVID-19 high-risk area than normally. Reducing treatment time and exposure control are two ways to significantly reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 virus spreading during endodontic treatment.

“This latest research shows that vital pulp therapy can advantageously reduce treatment time, resulting in reduced risk of infection for vital pulp cases,” said AAE President Dr. Keith V. Krell. “It also demonstrates that the rubber dam, personal protective equipment and patient screening are of great importance during the COVID-19 outbreak in protecting clinicians.”

In addition, dentists should focus not only on the dental treatment, but also patients’ psychological status during public health emergencies.

The research comes on the heels of another AAE- and JOE-published article, “Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19): Implications for Clinical Dental Care,” co-authored by University of Texas Health at San Antonio’s Endodontics Department Chair Dr. Ken M. Hargreaves.

“The AAE is swiftly disseminating the latest valuable research to dentistry and endodontics in the midst of this pandemic,” Dr. Krell said. “And it’s all easy to access on our website at aae.org/covid. We hope this latest information will further demonstrate the extreme importance of protecting endodontic specialists to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

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About the American Association of Endodontists:
The AAE is headquartered in Chicago and represents more than 8,000 members worldwide. Endodontics is one of 10 dental specialties formally recognized by the American Dental Association. The AAE, founded in 1943, is dedicated to excellence in the art and science of endodontics and to the highest standard of patient care. The Association inspires its members to pursue professional advancement and personal fulfillment through education, research, advocacy, leadership, communication and service. For more information about the AAE, visit the Association’s website at aae.org. For more patient focused information, visit aae.org/patients.