COVID Infection Rates in Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists have had a surprisingly low Covid infection rate. This can be attributed to their hygiene protocols already in place, while keeping themselves out of harms way from whatever their patients might be carrying around.

But when it comes to how dental hygienists’ protocols already implement their own safety, the consensus has become that the risk is low. Unless you are in an oral surgery practice or work with certain patients (HIV positive for example), there is no need to be overly concerned.

Bacteria in dental office air was tested in 2004 and has stayed around the same levels even in 2021. What a shock, with a global pandemic making it’s way into the most personal parts of our lives, it is not strong enough to force its way through the barriers dental offices put in place for both their own safety and the safety of their patients.

The CDC reports that 20 million more people became infected with HIV in the years between 2005 and 2014. This staggering number is only expected to get worse over time. The president of the United States has created a new office dedicated solely to ending this disease with appointments being made each month so far with no signs of stopping.

But let’s talk more about what’s relevant to dentistry. What can we take from the dental world and implement into our own lives to see a difference in our health, sickness levels, and hygiene protocols to better out lives all around? What can be done at the dental office to improve immune defense systems and keep us healthier, longer?

Basic components of infectious disease defense are a strong humoral immunity system. We want this innate system working for us as hard as it can to fight off any bacteria or viruses that come into contact with our body. You may have heard the term: “get vaccinated” but in reality what should be spread is “get healthy, increase your natural immunity, and let your body do the fighting.”

What are some common things that dentists should take into consideration to increase their patients’ immunity? The first one is hygiene. Try to use sterile, disposable equipment for each patient. An example of this would be the disposable chair-side aids that are used during treatment. When you sterilize these tools through an autoclave after every single treatment, you get a system set up for success. The second thing is limiting the number of patients per day. By increasing your immune system, you are also increasing your “bed side manner.”

Another thing to keep in mind with increased immunity is proper nutrition. Fruits and vegetables help boost immunity as well as minimize inflammation in the body. Drinking green tea helps increase antioxidants which combat reactive oxygen species. Doing these things daily, including getting some exercise whether it’s a walk outside or a trip to the gym, will relieve your body’s hard work and start leaning on your help to achieve a decent level of health.

If you are experiencing symptoms of hypervigilance, paranoia, anxiety, nervousness, etc. it is recommended that you seek your doctor or a therapist to help sort out these issues. The goal here is not to fight the “power” but learn how to control it and make its effects positive in your life.

An Overview of Dentistry During Covid

During the pandemic, there are many businesses that have shut down. This is inferior to Covid 19 and its ability to harm people that contract this virus. It has become much more contagious, prompting many businesses such as dental practices to consider whether or not it is safe to offer their services. That being said, people still need to resolve dental issues that may be causing them pain. It is, for this reason, they will risk going out in public and seeking out the help of the local dental group. Here is an overview of dentistry during Covid and whether or not it is a good idea to see your local dentist.

Why Covid Is So Dangerous

Based upon the reports that have been provided by the CDC, it is a virus that can transfer through the air. Therefore, it is very contagious. That is why you will see so many people wearing a mask in order to prevent inhaling what could be the deadly virus. There are some people that will also consider getting vaccinated. Although there are some that are waiting to see if improvements can be made on the vaccine before getting it, many people will be vaccinated month after month. Whether your dentist is vaccinated, or if you are, there are ways to still protect yourself if you need dental work done.

How To Protect Yourself Against Covid

There are several ways that you can protect yourself against Covid as it spreads. The most obvious way is by using a mask. Another way is to get vaccinated which can help prevent you from being a carrier of the disease, as well as prevent you from becoming extremely sick. However, when you go to a dental office, you cannot wear a mask. You have to trust that the people that are in the dental office with you are not infected. There is also the viewpoint of the dentist that is providing you with their services. Every dentist will wear a protective mask when they are providing you with their services. Therefore, it is relatively safe to see a local dentist, especially if you are suffering with dental problems that need immediate attention.

How Dentists Protect Their Patients From Covid

The easiest way for a dentist to protect the people coming in for their services is to always have a mask on. There is little else that a dentist can do. Considering that almost every dentist is going to wear a mask when performing any type of dental work, every patient that comes in is going to be very safe. The standard practice of dentists around the world is the perfect solution for protecting the people that rely upon their services.

Although dentistry during Covid could be problematic, dentists are well aware of what is happening. Even if they have chosen not to get the vaccine, they will wear a mask as it is part of the work that they do every day. Therefore, if you are suffering from toothaches, or if you need dental surgery, you can feel confident about visiting your local dental practice. They are always doing their best to protect everyone around them, and that will include both new and existing patients.