CThis means that Montreal public health has not identified an infected dentist, nor had to make an epidemiological investigation on patients who could have been contaminated by their dentist, she confirmed last week.
The president of the Ordre des dentistes du Québec, Dr. Guy Lafrance, is not surprised by this observation: dentists are very used to working in environments contaminated by bacteria and viruses. They know how to disinfect and take precautions.
“I’m very proud, but not surprised,” he says. No case of an outbreak in a clinic has been reported to the Order, he confirms.
All people with a positive result for COVID-19 must be declared by laboratories to the regional public health directorate of the place of residence of the case.
And if there is a second wave, “we are ready,” he says. Health protocols are in place, and more is known about this disease than in June, he adds.
To avoid contamination, screening by means of a questionnaire is carried out three times: the patient is questioned when he makes an appointment, the day before, and finally the same day when he comes to the dental clinic. .
In the clinic, the same rules are applied as elsewhere: distance (appointments are interspersed so that people do not mix in the waiting room), hand washing and wearing a mask. Dentists have added a visor to their clothing.
But in the treatment room, specific dental care measures are in place: the patient must wash their hands again and rinse their mouth from the start, before treatment. Then specific devices are used, such as the dam, a kind of rubber screen that insulates the tooth on which the work is done, and suction devices, two ways of avoiding the projection of droplets.
The rooms are disinfected after the passage of a patient and the instruments are sterilized as usual.
“It’s a little longer in clinics, but it’s safe,” said Lafrance, who works in the clinic himself.
He did not perceive fear in the patients.
“When people found out that a lot had been done to increase the level of safety, they felt confident, even people of a certain age.”
Dental clinics had to close by order of health authorities during the first months of the pandemic – while remaining open for emergencies – but again welcomed all types of patients from June.
The clientele has not yet returned to usual levels: dentists see a little fewer patients because health protocols take longer, explained the president of the Order.