Reconnecting Practicing Hygienists with the Nation's Leading Educators and Researchers.

Cheers to You!

As the year draws to a close, it’s a perfect time for us to give kudos to all of you for your dedication, perseverance, flexibility, and positivity.

Understatement: 2020 was some year. As I look back on the Dimensions of Dental Hygiene archives and the topics for this year, it’s interesting to see how the themes of our articles changed. The January through March issues of Dimensions focused on our typical clinically relevant topics, such as instrumentation, oral health for individuals with systemic diseases, periodontal maintenance, infection control, and so on. But the focus on infection control changed dramatically in our April issue with the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on our professional and personal lives.

The April cover highlighted how oral health professionals might manage COVID-19 with information that was known at the time. In the continuing education article sponsored by Crosstex, “Coronavirus Overview for Dental Professionals,” the signs, symptoms, and prevention of the novel coronavirus were reviewed along with recommendations on how clinicians can prevent the spread and remain safe.1 As I re-read the article, it struck me that even early on, the information was extremely accurate and the content remains pertinent today. Oral health professionals have employed universal precautions and highly stringent infection control protocols for years, and while SARS-CoV-2 demanded additional levels of protection, dentistry and dental hygiene responded exceptionally. As a result, the spread of the novel coronavirus in dental offices has been less than anticipated. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) published the results of a survey showing that as of June, fewer than 1% of dentists nationwide were found to be positive for COVID-19.2 And while these statistics have not yet been updated by the ADA, clearly the infection control protocols utilized in dental practices have made an impact. Even though oral health professionals remain at high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the production of aerosols in the workplace, strict infection preventive measures seem to be working. (As an aside, this first report did not include data for dental hygienists, but future updates will. The ADA plans to work with the American Dental Hygienists’ Association to gather those data.)

AS THE YEAR DRAWS TO A CLOSE, IT’S A PERFECT TIME FOR US TO GIVE KUDOS TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR DEDICATION, PERSEVERANCE, FLEXIBILITY, AND POSITIVITY.

After the April issue, each edition of Dimensions contained some type of COVID-19-related material. We also provided daily email updates—and continue to do so—in order to ensure you are receiving timely information. And while we know the other clinically relevant topics remain important, be assured that we will keep sharing important COVID-19 material with you.

As the year draws to a close, it’s a perfect time for us to give kudos to all of you for your dedication, perseverance, flexibility, and positivity. We know it’s been a challenging time. But you have met the challenge head-on and because of that, we are poised for a better future. We remain hopeful, with you, that 2021 will usher in a new year of prevention and treatment. And we know you will be there to greet the challenges and successes with courage and passion!

Jill Rethman, RDH, BA
Editor in Chief
[email protected]

From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. December 2020;18(11):6.

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