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Practicing Dental Hygiene During COVID-19

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for dental hygienists to routinely apply their knowledge and skills in health education and promotion and disease prevention to help patients with systemic health problems take better care of themselves. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals with underlying conditions are at heightened risk for severe COVID-19 illness and death.

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Which of the following is the first step in the dental hygiene process of care?

The dentist, fully dressed in a protective suit with an eyewear protection is with a patient. A woman in the chair has her mouth opened and examined while holding a suction pump. LukaTDB / E+
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Patients may be unaware that dental procedures may complicate or be negatively impacted by existing physiological and/or pathological conditions.

Beautiful dentist wearing surgical mask and face shield. Lunatic_67 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Obtaining a thorough medical history is also challenging when dental hygienists do not ask follow-up questions to answers provided during the assessment, or when they fail to review and update patients’ medical history during subsequent appointments.

Young female doctor explaining prescription to her elderly patient Inside Creative House / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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According to the CDC, how many US adults have at least one chronic medical condition?

Elderly Man with all his Medication SolStock / E+
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The least common underlying health conditions reported among those with COVID-19 infection in the US are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.

Human Respiratory System Lungs Anatomy magicmine / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Because dental hygienists see patients with these medical problems on a daily basis, they should use the clinical encounter to educate patients about how they can protect themselves and others from getting COVID-19.

Coronavirus. COVID-19. 3D Render BlackJack3D / E+
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As efforts to combat the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are constantly evolving, dental hygienists need to stay up to date on evidence-based scientific information about the virus and current CDC guidelines and recommendations surrounding how to avoid contagion and spread.

Coronavirus bacteria cell Icon Alek_Koltukov / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Practicing Dental Hygiene During COVID-19
Not bad, but there’s room to grow when it comes to understanding how to practice dental hygiene during COVID-19. Consider reading more about this important facet of dental hygiene care. Good luck!
Well done! Continue to study practicing dental hygiene during COVID-19. You’ve got this!
Congrats! You understand the importance of practicing dental hygiene during COVID-19. Get out there and put your know-how to good use!

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This information is from the article A Dental Hygiene Approach Toward COVID-19 by Sandra Castellanos, AAS, RDH, BS, MA, CHES. To read the article, click here.

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