Nearly all dentists and oral surgeons stopped seeing patients at the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic in March; more than 90% of offices closed, canceling or postponing non-essential dental procedures in the process. Dentists have had concerns about spreading SARS-CoV-2, the respiratory illness that leads to a COVID-19 diagnosis, as they directly work over patients in chairs. Dentists in particular often create vaporized aerosols as they work in patient’s mouths, and infectious droplets like these can quickly spread throughout enclosed spaces like an operating room. But nearly three months later, dentists in all 50 states are in the process of reopening their offices — according to the American Dental Association (ADA) — to resume scheduled treatments for their patients.
Going to the dentist will feel vastly different than it has in the past, with new rules aimed at preventing those who may be unknowingly sick from spreading SARS to