(Reuters) – If you’re looking to have regular dental checkups in the future you may be disappointed because Dental patients and staff need to be protected from any potential infection by aerosol-generating procedures, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday, as dentists return to work in areas where the COVID-19 pandemic is easing.



There is currently no data on the spread of coronavirus from the dentist’s chair, it said, calling for more research into common procedures that produce tiny floating particles that may cause infection if inhaled.

These include three-way air/water spray, ultrasonic cleaning equipment that removes deposits from the tooth surface, and polishing, the WHO said in the new guidance. “WHO guidance recommends in case of community transmission to give priority to urgent or emergency oral cases, to avoid or minimize procedures that may generate an aerosol,

prioritize a set of clinical interventions that are performed using an instrument and of course to delay routine non-essential oral health care,” Benoit Varenne, a WHO dental officer, told a news briefing. He added: “The likelihood of COVID-19 being transmitted through aerosol, micro-particles or airborne particles … today I think is unknown, it’s open to question at least. This means that more research is needed.” FULL REPORT

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