Welcome to the Ninth District Dental Association
The Ninth District Dental Society was formed in 1909 and renamed to the Ninth District Dental Association in 2002. We have a membership of over 1500 dentists in 5 counties: Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Orange and Putnam.
In its quest to serve both the public and the profession, the Ninth District embodies the highest ideals.
The mission of the 9th District Dental Association is to serve and support its members and the public by improving the oral health of our community through Advocacy, Continuing Education and Camaraderie.
Estimating COVID-19 prevalence and infection control practices among US dentists
Estimating COVID-19 prevalence and infection
control practices among US dentists
Cameron G. Estrich, MPH, PhD; Matthew Mikkelsen, MA; Rachel Morrissey, MA;
Maria L. Geisinger, DDS, MS; Effie Ioannidou, DDS, MDS; Marko Vujicic, PhD;
Marcelo W.B. Araujo, DDS, MS, PhD
Background. Understanding the risks associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus
2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission during oral health care delivery and assessing mitigation
strategies for dental offices are critical to improving patient safety and access to oral health care.
Methods. The authors invited licensed US dentists practicing primarily in private practice or public
health to participate in a web-based survey in June 2020. Dentists from every US state (n ¼ 2,195)
answered questions about COVID-19eassociated symptoms, SARS-CoV-2 infection, mental and
physical health conditions, and infection control procedures used in their primary dental practices.
Results. Most of the dentists (82.2%) were asymptomatic for 1 month before administration of the
survey; 16.6% reported being tested for SARS-CoV-2; and 3.7%, 2.7%, and 0% tested positive via
respiratory, blood, and salivary samples, respectively. Among those not tested, 0.3% received a
probable COVID-19 diagnosis from a physician. In all, 20 of the 2,195 respondents had been
infected with SARS-CoV-2; weighted according to age and location to approximate all US dentists,
0.9% (95% confidence interval, 0.5 to 1.5) had confirmed or probable COVID-19. Dentists
reported symptoms of depression (8.6%) and anxiety (19.5%). Enhanced infection control
procedures were implemented in 99.7% of dentists’ primary practices, most commonly
disinfection, COVID-19 screening, social distancing, and wearing face masks. Most practicing
dentists (72.8%) used personal protective equipment according to interim guidance from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Conclusions. COVID-19 prevalence and testing positivity rates were low among practicing US
dentists. This indicates that the current infection control recommendations may be sufficient to
prevent infection in dental settings.
Practical Implications. Dentists have enhanced their infection control practices in response to
COVID-19 and may benefit from greater availability of personal protective equipment. Clinical-
Key Words. SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; dentistry.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent for
an infectious disease known as COVID-19, which is transmitted primarily through person-toperson
contact.1 The COVID-19 pandemic, with its considerable morbidity and mortality,
causes social and economic disruptions and health care delivery problems. The pandemic is of
particular concern owing to the airborne transmission dynamics in asymptomatic and presymptomatic
people.2-4 Virus-containing droplets (5-12 micrometers) and aerosols ( 5 mm) from
infected people are transmitted into the environment through breathing, speaking, coughing, and
sneezing.5 Susceptible people can then become infected if virus-containing respiratory droplets or
aerosols settle on mucosal membranes or are inhaled.5 Respiratory viruses like SARS-CoV-2 can
also be spread if a susceptible person touches viral particles on contaminated surfaces and transfers
them to their mucus membranes.5
Copyright ª 2020
Association. This is an
open access article under
the CC BY-NC-ND license
JADA 151(11) n http://jada.ada.org n November 2020 815