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Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19): Implications for Clinical Dental Care

Amber Ather, BDS, DDS1, Biraj Patel, BDS1, Nikita B. Ruparel, MS, DDS, PhD1, Anibal Diogenes, DDS, MS, PhD1 and Kenneth M. Hargreaves, DDS, PhD1

1-Department of Endodontics, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 8210 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78229

Journal of Endodontics 46(5): in press, 2020

Acknowledgement: The authors deny any conflicts of interest.

Corresponding author:
Amber Ather BDS, DDS
Department of Endodontics
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
8210 Floyd Curl Drive. San Antonio, Texas; 78229.
Office: (210) 450-3636
Email: ather@livemail.uthscsa.edu

Abstract:

The recent spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its associated Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has gripped the entire international community and has caused widespread public health concerns. Despite global efforts to contain the disease spread, the outbreak is still on a rise owing to the community spread pattern of this infection. This is a zoonotic infection that, similar to other coronavirus infections, is believed to have been originated in bats and pangolins, and later transmitted to humans. Once in the human body, this Corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) is abundantly present in nasopharyngeal and salivary secretions of affected patients and its spread is predominantly thought to be respiratory droplet/contact in nature. Dental professionals, including endodontists, may soon encounter patients with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and will have to act diligently not only to provide care but at the same time prevent nosocomial spread of infection. Thus, the aim of this article is to provide a brief overview of the epidemiology, symptoms and routes of transmission of this novel infection. In addition, specific recommendations for dental practice are suggested for patient screening, infection control strategies and patient management protocol.