Patients who have upcoming dental appointments may want to consider postponing their visits.
The WHO said that dentists and hygienists have a more significant risk of contracting coronavirus and passing it to patients because “they are in close contact with their patients’ mouths, use spray-generating equipment that produces airborne particles, [and] are exposed to saliva, blood and body fluids.”
While considering your next appointment, the WHO says patients should postpone check-ups, preventive care, and dental cleanings.
Almost three-quarters of countries surveyed said the pandemic had delayed appointments for dental work.
The WHO is urging dentists to advise patients on how to maintain good oral hygiene at home. However, if you are in pain or have an emergency, you should still make an appointment.
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, patients should allow their dentists to evaluate the problem by a video or telephone call.
“Urgent or emergency oral health care interventions that are vital for preserving a person’s oral functioning, managing severe pain or securing quality of life should be provided, to avoid unnecessary visits to hospital emergency services,” the WHO said.
Additionally, the WHO has recommended that offices have “strict infection prevention and control measures” before seeing a patient.