W.H.O. walks back advice to delay routine dental work, blames media.

W.H.O. walks back advice to delay routine dental work, blames media.

Ok, I know you may think I have a big mouth, sarcastic North East humor, an attitude like Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm; a real Schmoehawk. I can take it. Well, my “squeaky wheels” just got oiled!

When an awful, dangerously misleading article on dentistry came out from the WHO two weeks ago, I was the first doctor to alert the FDA, or called the ADA. A barrage of complaints from the medical and dental community followed. The WHO listened.

By Tuesday afternoon, the WHO clarified its position on their misleading article of August 11th, 2020, scaring away people from the dental office, plus a dig at the media:

“Unfortunately, a number of media headlines, intentionally or not, did not mention that the recommendation to delay routine oral health care is only suggested in an intense uncontrolled transmission scenario, a scenario that does not fit with the current situation of most countries around the world.” … WHO Chief Dental Officer Benoit Varonne.

Jim Tauberg, president of the Pennsylvania Dental Association, also strongly objected to the initial WHO recommendations which recommended not even coming in for routine checkup and cleaning visits. He said members of his organization have proven since early in the pandemic that dentistry can be done safely.

“We are changing all of our personal protective equipment (and procedures) to be literally as if you were in the hospital environment as we make the assumption that all patients have covid,” Tauberg said. “In my humble opinion, we are actually one of the safest places to be at the current time.”

Andrew Matta, co-founder and chief medical officer of the North American Dental Group, said “if society has learned anything during the pandemic, it’s that dentistry is essential.

Oral health does connect to systemic health. We don’t want to see hospitals overrun with oral health or dental emergencies. We can facilitate those in our practices, and patients should feel incredibly safe going to the dentist because dentists are incorporating all of these enhanced measures,” Matta said.

Many offices, including my own, have added some space age equipment such as extra-oral suction units that suck the aerosols away from the mouth, preventing them to enter the airstream. This allows for all high-speed drill dental procedures and dental hygiene ultrasonic cleaning visits.

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