Dentaltown May 2020 - 36

Influenza is something that
we experience every year. We
are not sure how recurrent
COVID-19 will be, but we do
know that proper respiratory
hygiene helps lessen the
spread of these infections.

*
*

*

The ADA describes dental emergencies as being
potentially life-threatening and requiring immediate
treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding or to alleviate
severe pain or infection. They include:5
* Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation.
* Pericoronitis or third-molar pain.
* Surgical postoperative osteitis or dry socket
dressing changes.
* Abscess or localized bacterial infection resulting
in localized pain and swelling.
* Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft
tissue trauma.
* Dental trauma with avulsion/luxation.
* Dental treatment cementation if the temporary
restoration is lost, broken or causing gingival
irritation.
W hen seeing emergency patients, the ADA
recommends:6
* Patients with an acute respiratory illness should
be identified at check-in and placed in a single-patient room with the door kept closed.
* Seek to prevent the transmission of respiratory
infections in dental settings by adhering to
respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette infection
control measures at the first point of contact with
any potentially infected person.
* Offer a disposable surgical mask to people who

36

*

are coughing; provide tissues and no-touch
receptacles for used tissue disposal.
Ill persons should wear a surgical mask when
outside the patient room.
Dental health care personnel assessing a patient
with an influenza-like or other respiratory illness
should wear a disposable surgical face mask,
nonsterile gloves, gown and eye protection (e.g.,
goggles) to prevent exposure. Because recommendations may change as additional information
becomes available, it's a good idea to check the
CDC website for COVID-19 updates.
Patients and dental health care workers should
perform hand hygiene (e.g., hand-washing with
non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based
hand rub or antiseptic hand wash) after possible
contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.
Routine cleaning and disinfection strategies used
during influenza seasons can be applied to the
environmental management for COVID-19.

COVID-19
While the seasonal flu causes its own respiratory
hygiene concerns, the COVID-19 pandemic certainly
presents its own unique, unprecedented challenges.
And dental offices have certainly experienced their
own changes.
The CDC Division of Oral Health is working
with CDC's Emergency Operations Center to develop
COVID-19 guidance tailored specifically to dental
health care personnel. Its guidance is available through
its Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity
website. [Editor's note: Find the link to this site in the digital
version of this article at dentaltown.com/magazine.]
It's important to remember that something like
COVID-19 also affects clinic staff, from a workplace
perspective. OSHA provides a downloadable publication
that specifically addresses COVID-19 concerns. [Find a
link to this document in the digital version of this article at
dentaltown.com/magazine.] The publication addresses
such issues as how to implement protection measures,
which workers are most likely to come in contact with

MAY 2020 // dentaltown.com

DT0520_Daw_CE_Respiratory-Hygiene_AG_V2.indd 36

4/21/20 11:02 AM


http://www.dentaltown.com/magazine http://www.dentaltown.com/magazine http://www.dentaltown.com

Dentaltown May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown May 2020

Dentaltown May 2020 - Cover1
Dentaltown May 2020 - Cover2
Dentaltown May 2020 - 1
Dentaltown May 2020 - 2
Dentaltown May 2020 - 3
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Dentaltown May 2020 - 6
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Dentaltown May 2020 - Cover3
Dentaltown May 2020 - Cover4
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