Safe Dental Offices | COVID-19 Incidence: no occupational transmission

Incidence of COVID-19 virus transmission in three dental offices: a 6-month retrospective study.external icon Froum et al. International Journal of Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry (November 6, 2020).

Key findings:

  • No occupationally-acquired infections were identified among staff involved in care of 2,810 patients that often included aerosol-generating procedures.
  • No patients reported COVID-19 symptoms two weeks after having an aerosol-generating dental procedure, suggesting no transmission from office staff to patients.

Methods: Retrospective study in three different dental offices between March 15 to September 15, 2020 in New York using enhanced infection control measures.  All patients were contacted two weeks post-procedure to determine whether they experienced any COVID-19 symptoms. Three staff members contracted COVID-19 during the study period while furloughed; a family member was the source of infection for all three.  Limitations: Small study sample; patients may have been asymptomatically infected.

Implications: Enhanced infection control standard operating procedures appears to mitigate risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in dental settings even when aerosol-generating dental procedures take place.

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