As dental patients saw routine treatment suspended due to the pandemic, the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) reminds them that returning to the dentist is safe and that continued interruption of care may seriously affect their health.
Among other organizations, the EFP has issued evidence-based recommendations for dentists including a safety protocol for dental practices to follow when treating patients before, during, and after their arrival in the dental office.
Additionally, the EFP said, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not found any confirmed cases of COVID-19 transmitted in a dental office.
“Oral health is a vital component of general health and well-being, and all of us need to keep looking after our teeth and gums for a better quality of life,” said professor Nicola West, secretary general of the EFP.
“The unique characteristics of the dental setting and profession have always warranted infection control,” said professor Filippo Graziani, EFP past president and chair of the EFP’s European project committee.
“The overall number of dental professionals who have contracted COVID-19 appears extremely limited when compared to the general population, even in the early period of the pandemic,” said Graziani.
“This reinforces the concept that cross-infection is of paramount importance to us as dentists and one of the pillars of our doctrine,” said Graziani.
Dentistry is well prepared to prevent any infection risks related to the current pandemic, as the profession is taking effective measures to remain safe for both patients and practitioners, the EFP said.
Also, neglecting oral health even for a limited time comes at a price and may have a negative impact on overall health because periodontal and dental diseases are linked to serious chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and dementia, the EFP said.
“Dentists and periodontists have always been obligated to use effective protection protocols to keep their patients safe from any infection,” said Graziani
“The EFP is helping dental professionals to manage patients in a secure manner thanks to clear safety protocols, and they are ready to treat their patients safely,” he said.
Focusing on creating awareness of the safety protocols and promoting the benefits of taking care of oral health at all times, the EFP has launched its “Back to Common Sense” social media campaign.