TRUST: THE RETURN TO THE DENTIST AFTER COVID-19 - Dr. Carlo Poggio
Life after COVID19 is primarily a recovery of confidence in doing normal things.
In May 2020 we slowly returned to normal, gradually resuming our usual habits with increasing confidence. Among others, we started to go back to the dentist for therapies and routine visits.What is it like to go to the dentist in the post-COVID19 era?
During phase 1 of the pandemic, our office (like all dental offices) was opened only for emergencies, while in phase 2 we started to treat all the patients again.What kind of precautions are we taking?
Today there is a lot of talk about cross-infection control
in all areas. In fact, many years before the spread of Coronavirus, the safety standards in dental practices were already extremely significant and designed to prevent all kind of cross-infections. Remember the 80s? The year is 1984
and the Rock Hudson "scandal"
brings the "discovery" of HIV
. Until those years, dental clinic hygiene procedures were quite similar to those of medical clinics. The doctors wore trousers and ties, perhaps even with open coats. They used to wash their hands, but the gloves were never used
except for the most complex surgical operations. That’s exactly since the 1980s that the rules for the prevention of cross infections have become extremely stringent. For more than 20 years all the instruments used have undergone sterilization cycles
capable of eliminating any bacterial and viral form. For this reason, during the pandemic the active dentists
that have been infected in the areas of maximum contagion are very few compared to the general practitioners who got sick, and this happened despite the constant exposure to the saliva of patients. What’s the matter with our Infection Prevention protocols regarding the Covid-19?
Current information tells us that:
- The virus is less resistant on surfaces than the viruses we have been managing for years
- The virus is inactivated by specific alcohol-based disinfectants
- The virus is inactivated by the sterilization cycles that are normally done
All ok then? Obviously not
(we would not experience an epochal pandemic
The difference for dental practices with viruses from our recent past lies in the airborne transmission
. The virus is transmitted in saliva dropletsthrown into the air by coughs or something else. This requires on our part additional efforts to control "airspace" (so called it sounds a bit "military", but it gives the idea).
We had to change a number of procedures in order to control this additional transmission risk. What is important to understand, however, is that despite this aerial transmission, COVID-19 is not transmitted like radio waves, nor even as a gas! We are talking about saliva droplets
of a certain "size". For there to be contagion there must be "important" exposure.
In order to control this, we work hard to prevent potential saliva droplets, even before having to disinfect them. First of all, we do the "triage
" of patients, verifying whether there are risks in accessing the study. Secondly, we have enhanced the aspiration systems during clinical work
. Thirdly, we use respiratory protections
of the operators even safer than before (with masks more filtering than the standard ones, with the technical name "FFP2 respirators
"). Then, we proceed with the replacement of all external protection layers
(the gowns are changed at each session, as well as masks and visors): we have increased the time of disinfection procedures between one patient and another.
With the "distancing" of patients in the reception we manage what we call a "standard" risk
(ie the type of risk you are exposed to when accessing a shop, supermarket or any workplace). By raising the already effective procedures for preventing the risks of cross-contamination during the clinical operations
, we manage what we call “specific” risk
of our work.
During certain procedures, we are unrecognizable: we seem like NASA astronauts! And thanks to these precautions, we can go back to work in maximum safety, delivering each therapy with confidence. All this for your trust and the safety of everyone.
Over the past months we have constantly worked to follow the most updated and rigorous infectious risk management recommendations, both National and International. Our clinic has been considered a landmark for many years, due to the methods used for preventing infectious risks. It’s for this reason that during this recent pandemic, Dr. Carlo Poggio
has been an international speaker
on numerous webinars explaining the new ways to manage the COVID-19 emergency in dental practices.
Dr. Poggio has also been a "global ambassador
" for Slowdentistry
for some years, founded by Dr. Miguel Stanley of Lisbon. The principles of this initiative are linked to the maintenance of safety standards in the operating procedures of dental practices.
In conclusion, for many years we have been pioneers in the use of the most advanced workflow standardization systems using IMS Cassettes
. Last year we were the subject of a "case study
" for our 20 years of experience
in using the system considered today among the most advanced. The use of cassettes already set for each procedure makes the work simplified and the risk of contamination is much reduced while having all is needed in a single sterile cassette for each individual patient.
To put it simply: for many years now, we have been taking care of your and our safety every day, much long time before COVID-19 arrived.
Today, with the same attention as always to details, to the quality and excellence of the therapies, we continue to give our best, to earn your trust every day. We are confident that with your active involvement, every problem related to the safety of procedures will be overcome, and this phase will also be overcome.We are waiting for you to continue your therapies!
DR. CARLO POGGIO Carlo Poggio holds a DDS, a PhD in Anatomy and a MSc in Orthodontics. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Division of Prosthodontics, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, University of Rochester (NY) (2009-present), a Visiting Professor for Interdisciplinary Treatments at the Postgraduate Program in Orthodontics in the University of Milan (2000-2012, 2015-present) and a Visiting Professor in the University of Siena (2016-present). He is currently member of the Executive Board and President Elected 2019-2020 of the Italian Academy of Prosthetic Dentistry (AIOP), with over 1500 members one of the largest Italian scientific dental societies. Associate Fellow of the Academy of Prosthodontics and Counselor of the American Prosthodontic Society, member of the Cochrane Oral Health group (Manchester, UK).
He has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals on topics from orthodontics to prosthodontics and interdisciplinary treatments; he has lectured extensively internationally on topics related to interdisciplinary treatment planning in dentistry, occlusion and management of TMD patients, metal free prosthodontic materials and use of dental implants in complex interdisciplinary rehabilitations.