• Aerosols Generated during Endodontic Treatment: A Special Concern during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

      Bahador, Mason; Alfirdous, Rayyan A; Alquria, Theeb A; Griffin, Ina L; Tordik, Patricia A; Martinho, Frederico C (Elsevier inc., 2021-02-03)
      Introduction: The aims of this study were to investigate aerosolized microorganisms generated during endodontic emergencies and nonsurgical root canal therapy (NSRCT), to assess the spread of airborne microbes, and to verify the spatial distribution of airborne microbial spread. Methods: A total of 45 endodontic procedures were sampled, including full pulpotomy (n = 15), pulpectomy (n = 15), and NSRCT (n = 15). Samples were collected during room resting and after treatment. The passive air sampling technique using settle plates was applied. Agar plates were set at different locations in the operatory. The colony-forming unit (CFU) was counted in brain-heart infusion blood agar plates. A set of agar plates containing selective chromogenic culture media was used for the isolation and presumptive identification of target microorganisms. Fungi were investigated using Sabouraud dextrose agar. Results: Pulpotomy generated the lowest mean CFU count (P < .05). There was no difference between the mean CFU counts found in pulpectomy and NSRCT (P > .05). A higher mean CFU count was found close to the patient's mouth (0.5 m) than at a 2-m distance in pulpectomy and NSRCT (P < .05). There was no difference between the mean CFU count found in front of the patient's mouth versus diagonal in pulpectomy and NSRCT (P > .05). Staphylococcus aureus (22/45, 48.8%) was the most frequent bacteria species. Longer treatment times were associated with higher CFU counts. Conclusions: Our findings indicated that pulpotomy generates less aerosolized microorganisms than pulpectomy and NSRCT. The proximity to the patient's mouth and the treatment duration were implicated in the level of contamination. © 2021 American Association of Endodontists
    • A Cross-sectional Survey on the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 on the Clinical Practice of Endodontists across the United States.

      Martinho, Frederico C; Griffin, Ina L (Elsevier Ltd., 2020-10-12)
      This survey investigated the effect of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the clinical practice of endodontics among the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) members by evaluating the impact on clinical activities, patient screening, infection control measurements, potential transmission, clinical protocols, as well as psychological concerns. A descriptive, cross-sectional survey was developed to query AAE members from all 7 districts. The survey consisted of 24 questions, 8 demographic questions and 16 questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the clinical practice. A total of 454 AAE members participated in the survey. As of July 2020, most endodontists were active in front-line treatment of dental patients (82%). N95 respirator face mask was described by 83.1% of the participants as special measures beyond the regular personal protective equipment. Rubber dam isolation was recognized by the majority of the participants at some level to reduce the chance of COVID-19 cross infection. Most of the endodontist participants acknowledged trauma followed by swelling, pain, and postoperative complication to be emergencies. The majority of respondents reported being concerned about the effect of COVID-19 on their practice. No differences in worries about COVID-19 infection were related to demographics (P > .05). The majority of the endodontists are aware of the COVID-19 pandemic, are taking special precautions, and are concerned about contracting and spreading the virus. Despite the conflict between their roles as health care providers and family members with the potential risk of exposing their families, most of them remain on duty providing front-line care for dental treatment.