The Irish Dental Association (IDA) has confirmed it is business as usual for dental practices in Ireland following new guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO)

The IDA has confirmed it is business as usual for dental practices in Ireland following new guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Last week, the agency called on more research into the spread of COVID-19 in dental settings.

‘The likelihood of COVID-19 being transmitted through aerosol, micro-particles or airborne particles … today I think is unknown,’ said Benoit Varenne, a WHO dental officer.

‘It’s open to question at least. This means that more research is needed.’

The WHO guidance suggests routine dental work should be delayed. But it makes it clear this only applies in the context of community transmission.

The Irish Dental Association points out this is ‘very low’ in Ireland.

Highest priority

Its statement reads: ‘The safety of patients, dental staff and dentists themselves is the highest priority for dentists across the country.

‘The IDA is paying close attention to all guidance being issued in relation to COVID-19. Including from the HSE, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and WHO.’

It emphasises that the WHO guidance makes no mention of Ireland. Additionally, the advice acknowledges that national authorities are best placed to provide guidance reflecting the circumstances of each country.

It concluded: ‘There is nothing in this WHO report to suggest that revised guidance is necessary in Ireland. Therefore, no change is required as regards guidance to Irish dentists.

‘Dental practices remain open for business. They are adhering to all the necessary guidelines and infection control measures in order to maximise the safety of patients, their staff and themselves.’