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Strategies for Disseminating Guidance to Dentists During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Alexandria, Va., USA – Ruth Lipman, American Dental Association (ADA) Science and Research Institute, Chicago, Ill., U.S., presented the poster “Strategies for Disseminating Guidance to Dentists during the COVID-19 Pandemic” at the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), on July 21-24, 2021.

Rapidly formulated, actionable infection risk mitigation strategies for dental care professionals were needed during the initial acceleration phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between March 2020 and February 2021, the content developed by the ADA to address dentists’ needs for COVID-19 related practice guidance has been cataloged. Insight about the strategies and approaches to their formulation, intended use, publication/posting date and utility as assessed by number of downloads and visits from ADA.org was evaluated with respect to the chronology of the pandemic.

The ADA established a centralized hub online to disseminate the latest COVID-19 evidence, policy and guidance. In April 2020, the ADA received more than 2,360 COVID-19 related member queries. Initial ADA guidance to mitigate virus transmission relied on information about safety considerations extrapolated from medical rather than dental settings to produce several decision algorithms (16,529 downloads) and a reference document (22,176 downloads) citing supporting information sources.

The initial guidance algorithms were for provision of urgent and emergency care and addressed patient screening, use of professional protective equipment, operatory disinfection and patients’ treatment. A companion document that defined urgent and emergency care (58,551 downloads) was reviewed by the ADA Board of Trustees. As restrictions on provision of dental care were lifted, increased member volunteer engagement was considered prudent to better ensure the relevance and feasibility of the guidance informing about a more comprehensive range of dental care. The resultant return-to-work toolkit (32,441 downloads) has been accessed more than 640,370 times.

This presentation summarizes and evaluates the clinical guidance and other evidence-based resources developed for dentists and patients by the American Dental Association (ADA) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

View this poster presentation in the IADR General Session Virtual Experience Platform.

View a PDF of this press release.

International Association for Dental Research

The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with over 10,000 individual members worldwide, with a mission to drive dental, oral and craniofacial research for health and well-being worldwide. To learn more, visit www.iadr.org.

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