Clearwater Periodontist says recent studies highlight the safety of dental offices during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Clearwater periodontist Dr. Todd Britten says the dental office has proved to a safe place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dental office safety during COVID-19

The increased steps the ADA recommended has really contributed to the "remarkably low incidence of COVID-19 in dental offices"

Clearwater periodontist Dr. Todd Britten says new studies are showing that the dental office has been a very safe place to be during the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 1, 2021, the American Dental Association stated at a meeting regarding OSHA's Emergency standards, “There does not appear to be a grave danger of being exposed to COVID-19 in dental settings, particularly as the pandemic is decelerating.”

The American Dental Association representatives added that dentists have experienced “exceptionally low monthly incidences of COVID-19”. The cumulative COVID 19 infection rate was 2.6% for dentists and 3.1% for dental hygienists as of November 2020 and October 2020, respectively, prior to the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

The first thing Dr. Britten said he and his team did when the pandemic started was to look to the guidance from the ADA. “The ADA and many renowned dental organizations and experts offered training webinars, for free, to help dental providers understand how to protect our patients and staff. Dentists and other medical professionals had to work hard to get the needed PPE in a time where shortages were rampant. Dental professionals really came together to help weather the storm of the pandemic," said Britten.

He feels the increased steps the ADA recommended really contributed to the "remarkably low incidence of COVID-19 in dental offices". These steps included:

  • Developing guidance for high- and low-exposure staff to take when a patient reports a positive COVID-19 test after their dental appointment.
  • Offering a flowchart, risk assessment and strategies for self-quarantine and returning to work if a staff member or someone in their household tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Furnishing a guide for handling patients who do not wear a face mask, whether because of a disability or a personal choice.
  • Sharing state-by-state updates on procedure requirements and/or restrictions for dentists.
  • Producing informational webinars on vaccine efficacy, targeted toward addressing vaccine hesitancy concerns among both patients and staff.

Britten Periodontics is a periodontal practice offering patients personalized dental care in periodontics, implants, laser therapy, cosmetic periodontics and regenerative therapy in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Todd Britten received his Bachelor of Science and Doctorate of Dental Medicine and Master’s Degree and Certificate in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry at the University of Florida. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. He has completed extensive continuing education coursework, including training at the Pankey Institute, Pikos Institute for Advanced Bone Grafting, Misch International Implant Institute and LANAP Institute for advanced Laser Dentistry. His Professional Associations and Memberships include American Board of Periodontology, American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Florida Association of Periodontists, Academy of Osseointegration, Upper Pinellas County Dental Association, Pinellas County Dental Association, Top Dentist 2015, Florida West Coast Dental Association and he completed extensive training at the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry. Dr. Britten is part of the one percent of dental professionals offering the FDA cleared laser procedure for gum disease treatment.

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