The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS CoV-2) in Dentistry. Management of Biological Risk in Dental Practice

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Apr 28;17(9):3067. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17093067.


The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, and the etiological agent of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19). This infection spreads mainly through direct contact with Flügge micro droplets or core droplets that remain suspended as aerosol. Moreover, it has been reported that infected subjects, both with and without clinical signs of COVID-19, can transmit the virus. Since the infection typically enters through mouth, nose, and eyes, dentistry is one of the medical practices at highest risk of infection due to the frequent production of aerosol and the constant presence of saliva. The World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested that only emergency/urgent procedures should be performed during the coronavirus outbreak. Considering the virus' route of transmission, a specific protocol should be applied to reduce the risk of infection in addition to measures that prevent the spread of infection from a patient to another person or medical tools and equipment (cross-infection). This protocol should be implemented by modifying both patient management and clinical practice, introducing particular devices and organizational practices. This paper aims to discuss and suggest the most appropriate procedures in every aspect of dental practice to reduce infection risk.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; biological risk; dentistry; infection prevention; procedures.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Coronavirus*
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Dentistry
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional / prevention & control*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • Practice Management, Dental*
  • Practice Patterns, Dentists'*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / transmission
  • United States
  • World Health Organization