Dental hygienists across the US can count on a guidance document developed by the American Dental Hygienists Association to help navigate the challenges of working through the COVID-19 pandemic, registered hygienist Kathy Eklund said in a video interview on the PracticeUpdate Clinical Dentistry Channel. Ms. Eklund, director of Occupational Health and Safety at the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, Mass., said the document is continuously updated as new guidance is released by the CDC, OSHA or other regulatory bodies. The Organization for Safety Asepsis and Procedures also provides a toolkit and checklist that are updated to reflect changes in guidance from the CDC, OSHA, ADHA and the American Dental Association.
Getting a practice working smoothly by optimizing workloads and appointment schedules goes a long way toward protecting staff from being overwhelmed by increased workloads at the end of the year, dental hygienist Amanda Graham writes in DentistryIQ. She offers several strategies that include pushing non-priority appointments to January, taking on temporary workers to handle ancillary tasks or fill in for those affected by COVID-19, and taking brief rest periods throughout the day.
Dental hygienists may come from different backgrounds, but their experiences and shared challenges unite them into a single community, writes dental hygienist Megen Elliott. All hygienists have something to contribute to their professional community, she writes in DentistryIQ. "If we create a strong network of dental hygienists who support one another and celebrate our differences, we can create real change when needed and defend our profession together," she writes.
Children in underserved communities in Oregon are set to receive dental care and education from dental hygiene students at the Oregon Institute of Technology, according to the Herald and News of Klamath Falls, Ore. The initiative is supported by a $2,000 donation from the Klamath Basin Sunrise Rotary Club.
The American Dental Association believes dental care is essential health care and should continue during the resurgence phase of the pandemic, according to an ADA News story quoting ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D. The ADA "firmly believes" dental care can continue to be delivered safely, Dr. Klemmedson notes in a Nov. 17 ADA statement. Dr. Klemmedson also noted that to date, there is no documented transmission of COVID-19 in a clinical dental setting, according to the CDC. Research published in The Journal of the American Dental Association found that fewer than 1% of dentists in the US were estimated to be COVID-19 positive as of June.
Dental professionals possess the expertise and experience necessary to detect and treat serious and life-threatening diseases, and their role in preventive and chronic disease care makes them invaluable to the US COVID-19 response, American Dental Association President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D., and Executive Director Kathleen T. O'Loughlin, D.M.D., said in a letter to the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, ADA News reports. The ADA said dentists would be able to "help increase the nation's medical surge capacity when medical personnel are overwhelmed," including through administration of vaccines.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the federal government expects to have 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech ready for distribution by year-end following reports that both vaccines have a more than 90% efficacy rate, according to The Hill. Distribution will begin within 24 hours after the vaccines receive emergency use authorization from the FDA, HealthCare Finance reports.
Researchers found that mouthrinse products containing at least 0.07% cetypyridinium chloride appeared to be able to destroy SARS-CoV-2 in a lab setting, BBC reports, and a clinical trial will explore use of the rinse in humans. Experts, including Sanjay Gupta, M.D., have warned that the findings do not support use of mouthrinse products as a means to prevent COVID-19, saying that the mouth cannot be sterilized, and even if that were plausible, continued replication of the virus in the airways means exposure would still be a risk, according to CNN.
A study in JAMA Network Open found that the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes was 30% lower in women who followed a Mediterranean diet compared with those who did not. The researchers analyzed data from more than 25,000 participants in the Women's Health Study and looked at their food intake and biomarkers linked to diabetes.
More professionals rely on a type of "autopilot" to complete work-related routines efficiently, and reliance on autopilot has enabled people to manage the stress of life during the pandemic, but prolonged periods like this leaves people disconnected from their bodies and primed for burnout, writes Bryan Robinson, Ph.D., a licensed psychotherapist. Dr. Robinson recommends making time for mindfulness and simple acts of self-care and outlines 10 ways to find balance during the holidays, including creating a to-be list, looking at the big picture, spending time outside and finding opportunity in difficulty.