Another possible mode of infection is through the air — something which is likely not news to you. When you cough, it’s common courtesy to cover your mouth — that’s a fact for a reason. Diseases that spread through the air can easily infect whoever happens to be near the infected individual. No doubt, practically everyone is familiar with this fact after the recent COVID-19 pandemic. While the coronavirus is certainly at the forefront of one’s mind when thinking about airborne illnesses, there are several others that must be understood as well. Take a look below at one of the other most deadly airborne diseases: tuberculosis.
Luckily, treatment for tuberculosis is now possible — for the longest time, it was not. However, it is still extremely vital that the necessary precautions are taken. It is a deadly disease that can remain dormant in some, activating randomly in the lifespan of those infected. Before treatment methods were discovered, tuberculosis was considered the world’s most deadly disease. In areas of the world where healthcare is not accessible, it still is a leading cause of death.
In fact, the only disease which has ever challenged tuberculosis’ status has been one that you are certainly familiar with: COVID-19. Your dental practice will keep up to date with the regulations and procedures in order to protect against COVID-19 through your state dental boards and local health departments. As time evolves, more strains develop and research advances, these recommendations and procedures may change just a bit. However, some things remain the same regardless.
For one, patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infections should postpone their non-urgent dental treatment until they are no longer infectious. Dental clinics offer an especially deadly environment for COVID-19 transmission because patients cannot wear a mask. Your dental practice should make this requirement clear in their policies and throughout their facility.
You’ll also have your own procedures for performing urgent treatment on possibly infected patients — though it is preferable that patients who are infected or are possibly infected do not come in for treatment until the possibility for transmission is totally cleared.