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Pandemic underscores important role of endodontists and the need to protect them

CHICAGO – The American Association of Endodontists – the 8,000-plus-member association representing dental specialists known as endodontists – announced the results of a recent member survey on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The goal of this survey was to gain insights into the impact of COVID-19 on members’ practices, and identify how the AAE, Foundation and industry can support members and their practices,” said AAE President Dr. Alan H. Gluskin.

Findings included that the vast majority of endodontic practices (85 percent) were open for emergencies, and that 39 percent of respondents possessed N95 masks and other exact PPE they need. Another 12 percent did not have N95 masks, but had equivalent filtering facepiece respirators and other PPE. Still another 38 percent were using surgical masks and other PPE to do their best, and nearly 11 percent did not have PPE to provide endodontic care.

Over 56 percent of respondents were taking the temperatures of patients arriving in their offices, in addition to screening them by telephone.

With regards to patient volume, most respondents (67 percent) reported less than 25 percent of normal patient volume compared with a typical week in practice.

The survey was distributed via email to 4,332 AAE members in the U.S., in practice and educators. The survey did not include residents or international members. The survey was open from April 14-27 and yielded 468 respondents.

When it came to what respondents would like to see covered in resources from the Association, equipment and supplies — including masks and other PPE — ranked highest, followed by treatment recommendations and guidance, as well as the latest scientific information on COVID-19.

This pandemic has underscored the important role of endodontists and the need to protect them as they treat patients in pain and keep them away from emergency rooms.

“The two major themes to glean from these survey results are PPE and financial relief,” Dr. Gluskin said. “This is where we intend to focus much of our attention over the next several months in terms of providing our members with resources and support, and advocating on their behalf for proper PPE.”

Association members and other dental professionals can find a wealth of information and resources at aae.org/covid. The AAE will continue to update the page and communicate pertinent information to its membership and dentistry at large.

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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 12 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.