Visits

Even dentist visits go remote during the COVID-19 pandemic

dentist
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed many in-person activities into remote services delivered over the internet. The latest example is the dreaded visit to the dentist.

Dvora Brandstatter used to drive her son Elchanan half an hour to the orthodontist and back every month to make sure his braces were working properly. Now, from the comfort of her home in Bergenfield, New Jersey, she attaches a special scope to her smartphone camera, opens an app and inserts the contraption into the 11 year-old’s mouth. A video of the boy’s choppers is sent to his dentist who checks progress, diagnoses any issues and sometimes ends the appointment right there.

“As a parent having fewer appointments is a good thing,” Brandstatter said. “I haven’t seen a downside so far. It’s probably the way everything is moving anyway.”

The app and the scope were created last year by New Jersey-based

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Visits to the dentist can evoke memories of traumatic sexual abuse

dentist
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The defencelessness experienced while sitting in the dentist’s chair can prompt memories of sexual abuse, finds endodontist Eva Wolf in her new study.

She has interviewed 13 people, who had such experiences, and found many are scared and avoid going to the dentist, do not show up for scheduled appointments, or leave ongoing treatment.

“It is very clear that the situation at the dentist is reminiscent of abuse previously experienced. It is the same defencelessness and powerlessness that arises in situations of abuse. By recognizing these reactions, dental care can contribute to the disclosure of abuse,” says Wolf, associate professor of endodontics at Malmö University.

She points out that dental education and dental hygienist education are among the programs that, according to the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance, must educate students about men’s violence against women, and violence in close relationships.

“Healthcare professionals must be attentive and

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Avoid dental cleanings and other routine visits to the dentist for now

You should delay your routine dental cleaning until the coronavirus pandemic eases, according to new guidance from the World Health Organization. Dentists, hygienists, and other oral care providers have a heightened risk of contracting COVID-19 and passing it to patients because “they are in close contact with their patients’ mouths, use spray-generating equipment that produces airborne particles, [and] are exposed to saliva, blood and body fluids,” WHO said.

“WHO advises that routine non-essential oral health care—such as check-ups, dental cleanings, and preventive care—be delayed until there has been sufficient reduction in COVID-19 transmission rates,” the U.N. agency said.

Almost three-quarters of countries surveyed said that the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted dental services—higher than for any other type of essential service,

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