American Dental Association ‘respectfully’ disagrees with new WHO advice on dental care 

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The American Dental Association (ADA) has responded to new advice issued by the World Health Organisation, which advised dental patients against all non-essential services. In a statement, the ADA said it “respectfully, yet strongly disagrees” with the guidance. 

Chad P. Gehani, president of the association, stressed that dental care is “essential” and highlighted the link between oral health and general health. Mr Gehani added that dentistry plays a crucial role in “evaluating, diagnosing, preventing or treating diseases, which can affect systemic health.”

During the first phase of lockdown in the US, the majority of dental practices closed or restricted appointments to emergency cases, but clinics started to reopen when case numbers began to fall across several states in May and June. The aim, according to the ADA, has always been to keep services running as routinely as possible, while also ensuring that staff and patients are safe. ADA guidelines contain detailed information about the use of PPE, infection control and sanitation measures and the provision of alternative treatments that can be used instead of aerosol-generating procedures. 

Over the last few months, hundreds of patients have visited their dentist safely, Mr Gehani claims, and the ADA is keen to encourage dentists to continue as normal with the added guidelines and policies in place to make practices Covid-safe. With the right PPE, dental teams can continue to treat patients in a safe environment, reducing the risk of oral health issues without putting themselves or their patients at risk. 

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