The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the infection control measures of health professions into sharp focus. Health care practicioners remain on the frontlines of treatment delivery during the pandemic; according to the database developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists are among the most at-risk professions.
The need to reassess, reexamine, and create revised infection control protocols is great. Fortunately, a group of McGill researchers have answered a call to develop evidence-based guidelines for infection control for dental profession decision-makers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Drs. Paul Allison, Sreenath Madathil, Martin Morris, and Raphael Freitas de Souza have recently published a document, "Infection Control Advice for Dental Professions Decision-Makers in the COVID-19 Pandemic," with the financial support of le Réseau de recherche en santé buccodentaire et osseuse. In this document, the researchers aim to provide evidence to support infection-control practices during the pandemic. By answering key questions that have consistently concerned dental practicioners—e.g., "When providing in-person care, what personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn?"—this document provides insight on how dentists can continue working on the frontlines of patient care while ensuring the safety of both themselves, their staff, and patient populations.