Home      Login

Correctional Dentistry in a Time of Pandemic  

Author:  Morton K Rosenberg, DDS.; Jay D. Shulman, DMD, MSPH.

Source: Volume 23, Number 01, Winter 2022 , pp.3-5(3)

Correctional Health Care Report

< previous article |next article > |return to table of contents


This article examines the state of correctional dentistry as practiced during Covid, and draws lessons from the experience that can inform future dental practices in prisons and jails. Unlike a medical examination room, a dental treatment room is a mini-surgical suite. The nature of dental practice requires close proximity of dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants to a patient’s face during procedures and frequent use of rotary dental and surgical instruments, such as handpieces or ultrasonic scalers and air-water syringes. Since they are capable of aerosolizing bodily fluids like saliva and blood, along with microorganisms, there is heightened potential for SARS-CoV-2 transmission in these professionals. The CDCR experience demonstrated that dentistry is well prepared to manage a highly contagious virus by virtue of the standard precautions that have evolved since the early AIDS crisis of the 80s.

Keywords: Dentistry in the Correctional Environment

Affiliations:  1: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; 2: Texas A&M College of Dentistry.

Subscribers click here to open full text in PDF.
Non-subscribers click here to purchase this article. $27

< previous article |next article > |return to table of contents