Covid-19 and Oxford Dentist

Following updated advice from the British Dental Association & the Chief Dental Officer, all dental practices have had to stop in-person contact with patients, even for emergencies, to avoid the possibility of face-to-face contact given the very high risk to dentists, and to protect patients and staff. We appreciate that this is likely to be extremely challenging for some of our patients and we are still here for you. We are able to provide emergency advice over the telephone. If you ring the practice you will be able to speak to a team member and, if necessary, a dentist. We hope that this situation will not last long and thank you for your continued support during this difficult time for all of us in the country.

So what’s all this got to do with Dentistry?

In short: a hell of a lot because of aerosols. Believe it or not, almost every procedure we carry out generates an aerosol. Having your teeth cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler, having a tooth drilled or even blowing air on a tooth to remove saliva to check if the tooth has a hole or decay generates an aerosol. A (dental) aerosol is a collection of viruses, bacteria,etc which remain suspended in the air. These aerosols present a significant infection hazard due to their gross contamination with microorganisms. According to the National Institutes of Health, the Coronavirus is known to stay stable in an aerosol for three hours. That’s possibly three hours that this virus can live just by “hanging around” in the air and only requires someone to inhale it. If the virus lands on plastic or stainless steel, it will remain potentially contagious for up to three days. All it takes is for someone to transfer the virus to their mouth, eyes or nose through direct touch for it to be potentially infective.

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