The AAE announced several recommended considerations to its 8,000-plus endodontist and dentist members amid COVID-19.
The announcement came at a time when other dental organizations revealed similar recommendations regarding dental care and emergency vs. non-emergency treatment.
“Given the rapid and global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the responsibility of everyone – health care providers and fellow citizens – to do everything possible to reduce the spread of this infection,” said Dr. Keith V. Krell, AAE President. “While there is no simple solution to balancing delivery of oral health care and minimizing the spread of the coronavirus, there is much we as endodontists and dentists can do to help reduce its spread.”
Along with these recommendations, the AAE also published on its website, ahead of its publication in the May issue of the Journal of Endodontics, a review co-authored by Dr. Ken M. Hargreaves providing an overview of the epidemiology, symptoms and routes of transmission of COVID-19. In addition, specific recommendations for dental practice are suggested.
“Advance publishing of this very important guidance has been critical in getting our members up to speed on the situation we’re facing,” Dr. Krell said. “In the coming days, we’ll continue to respond accordingly as the situation changes.”
The AAE’s recommendations are as follows:
• We agree with the CDC as well as professional organizations such as the ADA in recommending postponement of non-urgent oral health care for up to three weeks.
• Examples of urgent conditions requiring oral health care may include severe dental pain, abscess with lymphadenopathy, or a dental infection-related fever.
• Some urgent conditions may be treated with appropriate analgesics or antibiotics. A recent report from the British Medical Journal recommends acetaminophen over ibuprofen. While providing pharmacological treatment, practitioners can continue to monitor patient responses by telephone contact.
• If pharmacotherapy is insufficient, the recent review co-authored by Dr. Ken M. Hargreaves summarizes considerations for appropriate dental care.
• As of now, the impact of the epidemic varies across the country. Accordingly, the recommendations of our members’ local and state dental societies should be reviewed.
As this pandemic evolves, new recommendations will likely emerge. In addition to updates being made to aae.org/covid, below we provide a list of websites with useful information:
About the American Association of Endodontists
The AAE is headquartered in Chicago and represents more than 8,000 members worldwide. Endodontics is one of 10 dental specialties formally recognized by the American Dental Association. The AAE, founded in 1943, is dedicated to excellence in the art and science of endodontics and to the highest standard of patient care. The Association inspires its members to pursue professional advancement and personal fulfillment through education, research, advocacy, leadership, communication and service. For more information about the AAE, visit the Association’s website at aae.org. For more patient focused information, visit aae.org/patients.