A survey in Becker’s Dental Review (3/29/22, Hatton) reports that a March survey shows “two-thirds of dentists continue to require masks in their offices for patients and staff.” In the survey conducted by the American Dental Association, 67% of dentists said that they require patients to wear masks while in the waiting area. In addition, most dentists reported requiring masks for clinical and non-clinical staff, 70.1% and 62% respectively. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene (3/29,Machado) reports that “the percentage of practices requiring patient masking was higher in the 20 largest cities in the United States (75.2%) and lower in rural areas (51.3%).”
The CDC recently approved a second booster for patients over fifty, and/or the immunocompromised. For patients who have received either the two immunizations from Pfizer or Moderna and did not follow up with the booster (roughly 47% of immunized patients), the second booster is still recommended. I have my yearly physical on April 6thand I plan to get my second booster at that time. I have been tested multiple times during the pandemic (too many to mention) and have never had a positive test. My college age son in Charleston came up positive after two Pfizer immunizations but no booster and quarantined with only mild symptoms.
Scientific data continues to show that these vaccines have shown remarkable efficacy with few side effects. I respect all citizen’s rights to decline immunization, but variants are still being investigated. The imposition of screening at our clinic and wearing masks is a mild intrusion on your personal rights. Pre-rinse anti-viral swishing is just another way we look to navigate our way through this pandemic while still looking out for your oral health. HEPA air filtration is another.
The end is in sight.Let’s continue to stay vigilant and stay healthy. The Presbytery of my church recently lifted mask requirements and we are starting to congregate again. I am optimistic about the future and hope that we all arrive there safely.
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