As the COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, continues to spread around the world, it is the responsibility of health care providers to do everything possible to reduce the spread of this infection. In order to do so, most dental practices have postponed elective procedures and started to work in an emergency setting only, according to each country’s local government restrictions.
Clinicians’ top priority should be the health and safety of their patients and staff. Dentists should follow standard contact and airborne precautions including the appropriate use of personal protective equipment and hand hygiene practices (1). Extraoral imaging such as panoramic radiography or a CBCT should be used to avoid the gag reflex or a cough that may occur during intraoral imaging (1). When extraoral imaging is not an available option, the use of intraoral imaging should be minimized, and in a personal note, if root canal treatment is performed, intraoral imaging should not be performed for length measurements. The available scientific evidence proves that apex locators perform better for the working length determination (2).
A rubber dam should be used throughout the procedure to reduce aerosols and minimization of the use of high-speed handpieces and ultrasonic instruments are recommended.
It is mandatory for health care providers to keep up to date with the rules and restrictions since the rampant spread of COVID-19 increases the likelihood that dentists will encounter carriers of the virus.
- Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19): Implications for Clinical Dental Care. Ather et al. 2020, J Endod (In press).
- Clinical efficacy of electronic apex locators: a systematic review. Martins et al. 2014, J Endod.
Dr. Ronald Wigler
DMD, Endodontic Specialist
Lecturer, Department of Endodontology, The Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel