Dental Professionals Need SARS-CoV-2 Virus Protections
A new study published by researchers from the University of Birmingham found Dental Care Professionals (DCPs) in England were at increased risk for SARS-CoV-2 virus infection early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to this observational study published in the Journal of Dental Research on June 2, 2021, the baseline seroprevalence of DCPs was 16.3%, compared to estimates in the regional population of up to 7%.
The good news from this study is the only virus-reinfected DCPs were those without a detectable anti-spike protein immunoglobulin G response, either because they had undetectable IgG concentrations at baseline or because their IgG response dwindled over time.
These researchers stated, 'Consistent with other studies, we demonstrate that natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 is generally associated with robust and durable serological responses’ (Wajnberg et al. 2020; Dan et al. 2021).'
'Furthermore, in this community-based cohort of DCPs, we corroborate the hospital-based studies of Lumley et al. (2020) and Hanrath et al. (2020) in demonstrating that seropositivity arising from natural infection is associated with longitudinal protection from reinfection with SARS-CoV-2.'
In the USA, the American Dental Association (ADA) recently issued guidance to help dentists answer questions about the new recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding mask use for fully vaccinated people.
On May 19, 2021, Duc “Duke” Ho, D.D.S., chair of the ADA Council on Dental Practice, commented in a press release, “This pandemic, as well as the ever-changing recommendations, have been difficult to navigate.”
“But we are very aware of the needs of our members and are tirelessly working to provide as much information and guidance as quickly as possible.”
The CDC instructs healthcare providers to establish a process to ensure everyone entering a healthcare facility is assessed for symptoms of COVID-19 or exposure to others with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and that they are practicing source control.
The CDC recommendations also state, “Although screening for symptoms will not identify asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection, symptom screening remains an important strategy to identify those who could have COVID-19, so appropriate precautions can be implemented.”
Recently, a study published by the ADA on June 1, 2021, reported the number of dentists with confirmed or probable COVID-19 infections. The cumulative infection rate for the U.S. dentist’s average incidence rate over the six months was 0.5%.
"We're pleased to see that dentists have demonstrated the continued low monthly incidence of disease despite several regional and national COVID-19 rate spikes during the study period," stated Marcelo Araujo, D.D.S., Ph.D., CEO of the ADA Science & Research Institute, chief science officer of the ADA and senior author of the report.
The ADA was founded in Niagara Falls, New York, in 1859.
PrecisionVaccinations publishes research-based news.
- COVID-19: Seroprevalence and Vaccine Responses in UK Dental Care Professionals
- ADA providing guidance on updated mask recommendations from CDC
- CDC: Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People
- COVID-19 infection rate among dentists remains lower than other health professionals
- COVID-19 among dentists in the United States