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weekend wOrrier
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 3,877
My wife's car just broke, so I am in a very bad mood.

With that in mind.
I am a dentist. Is it safe?
1.The ADA is applauding itself for having a less than 1% covid + rate for dentists. That is below the national average .

2.The biggest risks for dental offices are the dental staffs contracting covid themselves from patients. Many dentists never closed down during covid, including numerous other countries. I figure I have seen thousands of patients. With a 2% generalized asymptomatic positive rate in our community, I estimate I have seen 40- 80 patients who have been positive. To date, none in our office have had problems. At our office, we have had a recent high number of patients who HAVE contracted (not by us, by their coworkers/etc. ) covid in the 'spreadable' timeframe 48 hr window as specified by CDC. We have not gotten sick. Ancedotal, so refer to comment #1 for nationwide results after 6 months of 'back to work.'

3. The aerosols mentioned before were a major concern, and caused the ADA (starting in my state- Virginia Dental Association) to voluntarily close down to elective care. We were further shut down when PPE concerns in Mid March/April caused a mandate to close all elective care, shifting to emergency care only. Since then, tremendous amount of research has gone into examining what is going on aerosol-wise. One thing to consider, is that with dental aerosols, the vast majority of that is the dentist's own water supply contributing to the aerosol, which will be clean.

4.If this aerosol were wafting about and endangering people, the first wave of dental office outbreaks should be seen in dental professionals. That has not occurred. See #1. The dental profession, seeing multiple patients per day, would be at most immediate risk. There have been millions of patient visits since starting back up.

5. If aerosols were lingering about and cross infecting different patients treated in the same room later in the day, after 6 months (more like 9 months for me- I was open for emergency procedures), we should be tracking more outbreaks tracked back to the dental office. We are not.

6. Contrary to popular belief, and PPOT memes, a lot of medical professionals, have NOT been walking around in N95 gear. In fact, a recent study stated only 75% (of the dental professionals) were wearing all gear as recommended by CDC- meaning a lot of professionals have only been wearing surgical masks. But... wait a minute, with so many star trek bong hitting memes on the internet of their inefficiency, those medical and dental professionals should all be sick by now. But guess what- No. A track record speaks louder than memes.

6.5 Even if the office were following guidelines, there are many others in the office NOT required to wear faceshields and N95 mask by CDC guidelines- Read FRONT DESK/admin. Earlier in the year, the CDC guidelines did mention considering specialized HVAC environmental control considerations- namely, pulling out the central HVAC system and hooking it up in reverse from the norm, having the usual outputs by the room perimeters become the intakes, to suck up any contaminated air into the HVAC system directly, whereby it could be filtered by the HVAC system, in reverse of the current system, where fresh air is introduced into the rooms, (contaminated) by patient care, and then sucked through the hallways only to be taken up my the main HVAC intake- after- you guessed it- contaminating all the support staff not wearing precious N95s.
I personally know of no office that has done this. I know of no support personnel sickened by only wearing surgical masks. I am seeing no evidence of outbreaks in professional/national news.

7. In addressing cross contamination between patient to patient, the CDC interim guidelines recommended 15 minutes between patient treatment and cleaning a room to let things "settle." Much to the chagrin of the hygiene community, the CDC relaxed that guideline. After 6 months- still no notable cross contamination between patients that I am aware of.

8. There are a lot of new products on the line with unknown efficacy or need. We have ozone generators at our office. All sorts of new gadgets, such as the suction mentioned above. I am not seeing any definitive conclusions/results regarding these devices.

Am I saying it is safe? No. I am reporting the track record. You go be you. Do what you need to do.

Again, my wife's car just broke, and I'm super pissed off.
Hope this helps.

Last edited by LEAKYSEALS951; 12-30-2020 at 04:57 PM..
Old 12-30-2020, 02:39 PM
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