The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies dental settings as having unique characteristics that warrant additional infection control considerations and places dental health care providers in the “very high exposure risk” category. The practice of dentistry as involving the use of instruments that create a visible spray that contains large particle droplets of water, saliva, blood, microorganisms, and other debris. This spatter travels only a short distance and lands on the floor, nearby operatory surfaces, dental health care professionals, or the patient. The spray also might contain certain aerosols. While surgical masks offer some protection, they do not guarantee safety against inhalation of airborne infectious agents. Additional study and evaluation is needed to assess the risk of transmission during dental practice or to determine whether dental health care professionals are adequately protected when providing dental treatment using Standard Precautions.
Here are some recommendations from the CDC:
What constitutes a dental emergency? According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the following:
Dental health care professionals should regularly consult with their state dental boards or other regulating agencies for requirements specific to their jurisdictions.
As a reminder, everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Fear and anxiety caused by this pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. How someone responds to the outbreak can depend on their background, the things that make them different from other people, and the community they live in. If someone is feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like they might want to harm themselves or others, contact one of the following:
The Dignified Transfer Center is currently accommodating 13 decedents. 36 additional individuals have been through the center and transported to a crematorium or funeral home, at the request of family. To date, 49 individuals have entered the Dignified Transfer Center.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services hotline can be reached at (877) 435-8411.
St. Louis County has created a website dedicated to the dissemination of information relating to COVID-19, stlcorona.com. Please visit that website or those belonging to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) for the most current and reputable information.