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Report Finds COVID-19 Rate Among Oral Health Providers Less Than 1%

Although oral health professionals are assumed to be at high risk for COVID-19, among dentists, less than 1% of the workforce was found to be COVID-19 positive.

Although oral health professionals are assumed to be at high risk for COVID-19, among dentists, less than 1% of the workforce was found to be COVID-19 positive, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Dental Association. Based on data collected in June 2020, these findings fall far below that of other health professionals in the United States. In addition, the study notes 99% of dental offices are using enhanced infection control measures, including recommended screening and asepsis protocols.

Among the findings, 82% of dentists were asymptomatic for 1 month prior to the survey, and 16.6% reported getting a COVID-19 test. Oral health professionals who tested positive were not clustered in any particular geographic area. Analyzing infection rates, researchers found an estimated prevalence of 0.9%, with a margin of error of 0.5%. “This is great news for dental teams and patients,² notes American Dental Association Science and Research Institute Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Araujo, DDS, MS, PhD, senior author of the report. “This means that what dental teams are doing heightened infection control and increased attention to patient and dental team safety is working.”

From Dimensions of Dental HygieneNovember 2020;18(10):10.

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