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Dentists seem to be at Lower risk to COVID 19 as compared to General Public

COVID-19 has been shown to be transmitted by close contact between the infected and the non-infected. This puts Dentists at risk as they may come into contact with droplets or aerosols, which can also cause infection. Research has shown that COVID-19 transmission is mainly via droplets.  Researchers at the University of Toronto, along with three other Canadian universities, found that dentists are less likely to contract the virus than the normal population. The Study was published in “The Journal of the American Dental Association” this fall and was led by Sreenath Madathil, Assistant Professor of McGill University and was co-authored by eight other researchers, including Glogauer and Professor Carlos Quinonez at University of T’s Faculty of Dentistry. 

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Michael Glogauer, a professor in U of T’s Faculty of Dentistry and dentist-in-chief at the University Health Network, said “We started the study in July 2020 because there was so much to know about COVID-19. There were no vaccines available and it wasn’t clear how high a risk this virus was for dentists. We wanted to get a good assessment of how much risk there actually was”

From July 29th 2020 through February 12 2021, the study included 644 licensed dentists from Canada. Participants were asked to give oral swabs and to fill out an online questionnaire. This was done to determine the incidence within the group. Sixteen people were found to have COVID-19, out of 644. The incidence rate during the same period among Dentist when compared to Common public is as follows – 

Dental Practioners: 1084 per 100,000 dentists

General Public: 1864 per 100,000 people 

This clearly shows how dentists are more likely to be diagnosed than the common public. After looking at the results – Quinonez said ” I wasn’t really surprised by these results because similar data has also been published in a study of American Dentists, and in Canada we are taking even more precautions“, he added “What is interesting is there appears to be a slightly higher rate of infection in European jurisdictions, so something is different, we just aren’t sure exactly what yet. What we’re trying to determine is what is the actual nature of the risk and why would we see this differentiation in different parts of the world“. 

It is possible to attribute this to the fact that Dentists, even before the COVID-19 outbreak, followed strict protocols to prevent the spread of communicable diseases like HIV, TB, and Hepatitis. These diseases are transmitted in an identical manner. The Dentists have been quick to adapt to the new norms, upgrading their Personal Protection Equipment and other disinfection protocols. They also have a greater awareness of infectious diseases and their transmission.

 Glogauer has added that “These results can be used to establish the necessary measures to maintain the safety of patients, dentists, and staff.

Refer to:

Medicalxpress – Dentists at lower risk of getting COVID-19 

Article by Varun Pandula

Varun is a dentist from Hyderabad, India. I try my best to help all people understand Dental problems and treatment and make Dental Education simple for Dental Students and the Dental fraternity.
For any queries, please contact me.

Dentists seem to be at Lower risk to COVID 19 as compared to General Public

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