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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

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Abstract: 

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.

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