Should I go to the dentist during coronavirus?

Shaniqua Juliano

Dental practices are adapting how they work in and around a patient’s mouth to account for this complicated reality. Dentists are screening patients for symptoms, limiting the number of appointments in a day, implementing stringent sanitation protocols and wearing more protective equipment to guard against the respiratory disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization suggest that respiratory droplets expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or breathes are the primary way the virus spreads. But the CDC reports there’s “no data available to assess the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission during dental practice.”

The Washington Post has been fielding thousands of reader questions about life during the coronavirus pandemic and many have asked whether they should go to upcoming dentist appointments. Dentists and public-health experts are concerned that Americans are putting off routine cleanings, which could compound health issues in the months or years

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Miami hospital flooded with critical patients as coronavirus cases rise

Shaniqua Juliano

Krystal Spaulding is almost out of breath as she sprints from one critically ill patient to another at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. Coronavirus cases are increasing at an alarming rate and the hospital is seeing more and more patients every day, the nurse said.

“There’s just a lot of running around with this current wave of [COVID-19] that we’re experiencing here in Miami,” Spaulding told ABC News. “The patients seem to be way more critical than the first wave.”

Florida reported over 10,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the biggest one-day increase in the state since the pandemic started.

As the state continues to shatter records for coronavirus cases amid the reopening of the economy, hospitals in Florida — like Jackson Memorial — are seeing a rise in hospitalizations. And as a safety net hospital, it is seeing more minority populations being infected with COVID.

The state has seen

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Is It Safe To Go Back To The Dentist Despite Surging Coronavirus Cases? : Shots

Shaniqua Juliano

Dental offices have begun seeing patients return for routine procedures. Seattle dentist Kathleen Saturay has increased the layers of protective equipment she wears when treating patients.

Elaine Thompson/AP


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Elaine Thompson/AP

Dental offices have begun seeing patients return for routine procedures. Seattle dentist Kathleen Saturay has increased the layers of protective equipment she wears when treating patients.

Elaine Thompson/AP

Add dental visits to the list of services you can book now or shortly as cities, counties and states continue to modify their months-long stay-at-home orders aimed at reducing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Dental offices were largely shuttered across the United States after being advised in March by the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to close their practices to all but emergency care. Many closed entirely.

The hope was that by allowing dentists to continue to treat serious cases — such as

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Is It Safe To Go Back To The Dentist, Despite Surging Coronavirus Cases? : Shots

Shaniqua Juliano

Dental offices have begun seeing patients return for routine procedures, and are working under updated CDC guidance regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Seattle dentist Kathleen Saturay has increased the layers of PPE she wears when treating patients, among other precautions.

Elaine Thompson/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Elaine Thompson/AP

Dental offices have begun seeing patients return for routine procedures, and are working under updated CDC guidance regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Seattle dentist Kathleen Saturay has increased the layers of PPE she wears when treating patients, among other precautions.

Elaine Thompson/AP

Add dental visits to the list of services you can book now or shortly, as cities, counties and states continue to modify their months-long stay at home orders aimed at reducing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Dental offices were largely shuttered across the United States after being advised in March by the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Is it safe to go to the dentist? What doctors are doing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

Shaniqua Juliano

America’s dental offices are reopening after months of handling only emergencies. All 50 states now allow routine dental care, like teeth cleanings and cavity fillings, but dentistry is considered one of the highest risk professions for the coronavirus.

“If someone asked me in January, ‘Hey, ever think about taking three months off from dentistry?’ And I’d be like, ‘Yeah, when I retire.’ It was never on my radar that we would have to shut down for this long,” Dr. Peter Shatz, the chairman of the Georgia Dental Association’s COVID-19 Innovation Task Force, told CBS News senior medical correspondent Dr. Tara Narula. 

He’s one of the people trying to help dentists navigate complicated guidance from the state, OSHA and CDC on how to reopen safely.

“We were stood up to help our members better understand the complexities of the coronavirus … from science, research, availability of PPE,” Shatz said.

About

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Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Shaniqua Juliano

Nearly all dentists and oral surgeons stopped seeing patients at the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic in March; more than 90% of offices closed, canceling or postponing non-essential dental procedures in the process. Dentists have had concerns about spreading SARS-CoV-2, the respiratory illness that leads to a COVID-19 diagnosis, as they directly work over patients in chairs. Dentists in particular often create vaporized aerosols as they work in patient’s mouths, and infectious droplets like these can quickly spread throughout enclosed spaces like an operating room. But nearly three months later, dentists in all 50 states are in the process of reopening their offices — according to the American Dental Association (ADA) — to resume scheduled treatments for their patients.

Going to the dentist will feel vastly different than it has in the past, with new rules aimed at preventing those who may be unknowingly sick from spreading SARS to

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L.A. Surge Hospital for coronavirus patients to close in June

Shaniqua Juliano

The state-funded Los Angeles Surge Hospital, which has seen relatively few patients since it opened five weeks ago to treat an anticipated overflow of COVID-19 cases, will close by June 30, officials said Wednesday.

In addition, emergency medical facilities that had been set up throughout the state will begin reducing operations, according to the California Health and Human Services Agency and Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

The Los Angeles Surge Hospital, located on the grounds of the shuttered St. Vincent Medical Center near downtown Los Angeles, was set up to handle as many as 270 patients a day. But the hospital has never had more than 25 patients at a time, officials said.

When the coronavirus crisis began and officials feared hospitals would be overrun, the state signed a six-month, $16-million lease with Verity Health System, which owned St. Vincent and had declared bankruptcy.

The state also paid healthcare companies

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Coronavirus rules for reopening California gyms coming soon

Shaniqua Juliano

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday said his administration will release guidelines “in a week or so” for allowing gyms, yoga studios and other fitness facilities to reopen, though stringent safeguards will need to be adopted to protect customers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newsom cautioned that the state directives will be tailored to the unique characteristics of each business, from large fitness chains to small studios, and will rely heavily on the advice of public health officials in each county.

The governor made the comments during an online roundtable with fitness professionals and business owners Wednesday morning, saying he hopes to allow them to be back in business as soon as possible.

“We also recognize your sector is multifaceted and we don’t want to be naive and just put out something that’s bland and that doesn’t meet your unique criteria and your unique considerations,” Newsom said.

The news comes as Dr.

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