Monday, August 3, 2020

Read This Before You Go to the Dentist

Dental practices are high-risk during the pandemic. Here’s what to know before making an appointment.  Photo: Oscar Del Pozo/Getty Images

By Keren Landman, MD

In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when almost all U.S. dentists had temporarily closed their doors, Ravina Kullar’s mother shut down her dental practice for good. At 70 years old, she was ready to stop practicing — but as it became clear that both her age and profession placed her at particularly high risk, the pandemic “kind of pushed her into retirement,” says Kullar, PharmD, a Los Angeles, California-based infectious disease specialist, epidemiologist, and Infectious Diseases Society of America spokesperson.

To date, no cases of Covid-19 have been attributed to any dental practices in the U.S., according to Kullar and the American Dental Association (ADA). But the practice of modern dentistry places oral healthcare practitioners and their patients in a uniquely dangerous position — and as practices reopen, people are facing decisions about whether and when to see a dentist.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re one of them.  Read more >>