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Patient Safety at Little Risk From Dental Care

Patient Safety at Little Risk From Dental Care

As your NE Denver dentist, our team at Northfield Family Dental understand the types of questions our patients are asking about whether it’s safe to return to the dentist. Now that we can continue to provide non-essential dental care to our patients, we know that many of you face a dilemma regarding your health – Risk exposure to COVID or receive the vital dental care your oral health requires. Fortunately, you need to make such a difficult decision.

Researchers at MIT analyzed 26 categories of businesses using over a dozen different metrics – such as necessity and crowdedness – to determine which rank as the most essential and safest. Researchers conducted their study to help shape policy decision for federal and local governments regarding which types of businesses should be allowed to remain open and which they consider risky for the public health.

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the study seeks to identify the businesses that have the best overall risk to benefit profiles when considering important factors like public health, the economy, and the risk of contracting COVID-19. Only three businesses achieved the classification as “Worth the Risk.”

In addition to banking and attending college, visiting the dentist made the list.

Why is Dental Care Worth the Risk?

To achieve this type of classification, dental care needed to pass certain criteria. First, does it help improve the public health. Yes. Considering how much research has shown how our oral health impacts our overall health, it only makes sense that dental care would be considered essential now that we’re out of quarantine.

Decades worth of research has shown that patients dealing with tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss have a significantly higher risk for developing a range of chronic health conditions that include diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure. These same health conditions are also listed as risk factors for contracting a severe case of COVID-19. Severe cases of COVID are those that requires hospitalization, the use of oxygen, or the use of a ventilator. Complications of severe COVID cases can lead to death.

Obviously, during a pandemic, any steps we can take to help lower our risk of the types of health conditions that can lead to COVID complications are ones we need to further explore.

Second, dental care that lowers our risk for COVID complications is probably not worth it if by receiving that care we become at high risk for contracting the virus. Fortunately, dental care remains safe when the right precautions are taken.

At Northfield Family Dental, our NE Denver dentist takes every precaution to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. Drs. Rogers, Muldoon, and Matheson have implemented a number of safety measures that closely follow and exceed those recommended by the CDC. We’ve taken every precaution to ensure that you can receive the dental care you require safely and without concern for your health.

Finally, researchers considered whether the benefit of any activity was worth the level of risk it presented. When you consider that dental care can lower your risk for a severe COVID case while also being safe and at low-risk for contracting the virus, you can see how dental care would easily pass the test.

Measuring Your Risk

As for the remaining list, researchers used the same metric we described above when classifying the following businesses:

 

Worth the Risk:

  • Banking
  • Dental care
  • College and universities

Not Worth the Risk:

  • Gyms
  • Cafes and juice bars
  • Bars and indoor restaurants

Toss Up:

  • Salons
  • Retail shopping

Do it Online if Possible:

  • Grocery shopping
  • Takeout Ordering
  • Car repair

 

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