WHO alarm signal. Experts recommend visits to the dentist only for urgent cases


The World Health Organization (WHO), concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on dental care services around the world, has formulated several principles for professionals in the field to “minimize” the risks of transmission.

“WHO suggests avoiding or minimizing all aerosol-generating procedures”‘, very common in dentistry (high-speed equipment, ultrasound, spraying and others), said on Tuesday, during a video conference, Dr. Benoît Varenne from the WHO Oral and Dental Health Program, according to Agerpres.

In its recommendations to health authorities and staff in the sector, the UN provides technical advice to minimize these procedures when they are indispensable (rapid aspiration, adequate air conditioning and others).

However, the organization stressed the importance of dental care, often overlooked, being considered “costly” and “not being included in basic health care in many countries”, said Varenne.

“Dental disorders are a neglected health burden in many states. They are sources of suffering, social isolation and even death. ‘“Like noma, a form of gangrene of the oral cavity that mainly affects children suffering from malnutrition, who have poor health and poor hygiene,” said the WHO official.

“It is estimated that almost 3.5 billion people suffer from oral and dental diseases. More than 500 million children have caries’‘, he specified.

In this already difficult context, ‘‘oro-dental health services are severely affected’of the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic, many being suspended in the face of the risks to which staff in this sector are exposed, given that demand has fallen, ” being afraid of them” to use these services.

“75% of WHO member states indicated in a survey that their dental services were partially or totally disrupted”said Varenne.

Recommendations submitted by the WHO

Based on this finding, the WHO recommends the establishment of remote consultation systems to assess the urgency of care, suggesting that interventions “essential” (controls, cleaning, preventive care) ”to be late”.

WHO also recommends that advice be provided on hygiene essential for good dental health (brushing, proper nutrition, warnings against the use of sugar, tobacco, alcohol) and that strict protocols be followed for physical consultations (spacing, equipment, sterilization, systematic disinfection between two consultations, as well as the prohibition of the presence of an accompanying person at the office).

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