Dental professionals play a critical role in preventing the transmission and spread of COVID-19. In an effort to mitigate the spread, the American Dental Association (ADA) has recommended dentists postpone providing elective dental procedures and only treat emergencies at this time.
These measures protect both patients and dentists, as certain dental procedures can pose distinctive risks in light of the current pandemic.
What are the Risks?
A significant concern is the creation of aerosols during dental procedures. Aerosols are fine particles or liquid droplets suspended in the air from instruments such as drills and other rotary hand-pieces, air/water syringes and ultrasonic scalers.
During procedures, these aerosols travel through the air and can settle on nearby surfaces, including the patient and dental team.
Unfortunately, most dental clinics are not equipped to limit aerosols as advised by the ADA and CDC, even if they follow standard infection control guidelines.
But this is not the case for biological dental offices.
Biological Dentists are Better Equipped to Limit Aerosols
Most biological dentists already adhere to the extreme safety precautions set forth by the IAOMT for removing mercury amalgam fillings. Because this procedure can release mercury vapors into the air that can then be absorbed into the body by inhaling or ingesting the vapors, biological dentists are equipped with special protective equipment and gear for limiting spray, aerosols and vapors.
These protective measures include:
- Disposable/washable gowns and protective hair coverings for patients and staff
- Face shields/eye protection for patients and staff
- Respiratory-grade face masks
- A sealed mask delivering oxygen to the patient
- Air filtration systems
- Oral aerosol vacuums to suck vapors, aerosols, and other contaminants away from the patient’s mouth
In addition to these preventative measures, we at Integrative Dental Solutions, use a high power vacuum system that vents all vapors directly outside the building. Additionally, we employ the use of ozonated water (a safe and powerful antimicrobial agent that can kill bacteria on contact) for treating oral infections and cleaning water lines.
Perhaps most importantly of all, biological dentists operate according to the belief system that oral health is fundamentally connected to overall health. Many hold certifications in naturopathic, integrative or functional medicine, along with countless hours of continuing education in the multifaceted field of holistic dentistry.
So when it comes to dealing with COVID-19, a biological dentist is better prepared to provide guidance on how we can protect and support our overall health and immunity during this crisis and beyond. For more information on how biological dentistry is different from conventional dentistry, check out our blog post, 10 Reasons to Choose a Biological Dentist.
The practices and outlined above make biological dentists particularly well-suited to offer emergency dental care during these times of social distancing and for encouraging confidence in patients once normal activities, including elective dental care, resume. Contact us to learn more.