Webinar: Survival For Your Practice and Team

Good day AACP friends and family,

In my 37 years as a general dentist and as your AACP President, the changing landscape of the crisis at hand is not like anything we have ever seen. I liken our position from a research standpoint. We are subjects in a worldwide research project except we did not sign a consent form to participate. As the world contends and confronts the devastating novel coronavirus pandemic, it is important that the AACP will try to do all they can to support you. This is a time we as colleagues should stick together.

First and foremost, it is my sincere hope and prayer that our members, their families and loved ones are minimally affected.Following national, state and local separation guidelines will certainly accelerate us to a more normal situation.

The AACP leadership and management company has risen to the occasion to ensure the safety of our members. I want to thank our Directors and Associations and Meetings by Design (AMBD) team for their willingness to lead during the challenging time. Together, your leadership team has made many good decisions. The second session of our Pediatric OSA course and our Medicolegal courses will be postponed and presented at a later date. This will be announced as soon as reasonably possible. This decision was made because the health and well-being of our members and family is our upmost concern.

Plans for the AACP 35th Annual International Clinical Symposium on August 6-8, 2020 at The Davenport Grand Hotel in Spokane Washington are underway. A few members have inquired as to possible cancellation. We are planning to proceed as planned. Dr. Richard Goodfellow is our Program Chair and he has been working with our new management team to align a great program. Our leadership team feels that this meeting is situated at the ideal time. We are positioned to succeed at a very critical time. AMBD will assist us in hosting an open forum with AACP key leaders this coming week. This will give members our up to date progress. We will use this as a positive time to review future plans and give you a time to openly ask questions .

Many individuals know that I was a representative for the AACP at the AACP Australian Chapter meeting in Sydney. The meeting was outstanding and the hospitality was terrific. We flew to Sydney on March 9th and on Wednesday, March 11: The World Health Organization declares the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, acknowledging that the virus will likely spread to all countries on the globe. Our return travel plans needed to be moved up and it was a very good thing we traveled home early. International travel closed the day we came home.

Upon coming home, I have been gathering resources and references for members to use. AMD will put these references on our website and keep updating new guidelines and recommendations as they occur. Please review and plan if you are on leave from your practice. In WV, we have the recommendation of seeing only emergency patients for the next 3 weeks. With the break in our busy schedule, we can now take the time to train staff, get a jump on marketing and reinforce safety measures.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention provides comprehensive information on the current novel virus affecting the world. COVID -19 has a dedicated section on the CDC website which is constantly being updated and provides the best guidance for health care providers during this fluid, evolving position. See direct links at the top of this page.

Healthcare providers should also seek and follow guidance from their state and local departments of health.

One interesting fact that I came across was the term that keeps coming in front of the virus terminology and it is “novel”. I wanted to understand the term “novel” and it means a new form of the virus. I must have missed that term in my education process. Below is a little more information about the progression of the virus worldwide.

Dentists are blessed with their training, though. We have been trained extensively on managing body fluids and contamination routes. Our profession is unique because we are in such close proximity to patients during treatment. With the fact that we use high speed drills and air/water syringes, we create lots of aerosols. We have been trained on what extra- protection measures we need to apply and know how to avoid or minimize spatter or aerosol-generating procedures. Our dental professionals have always been cautious to avoid touching their own eyes, mouth, and nose.

AASM PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE released information to help sleep clinicians. One concern is there may be an increased risk of transmission of the virus to others in the environment if PAP is used. There is a concern about co-habitants in the same dwelling, viral particle persistence on surfaces and re-infection from reusing masks, tubes and even oral appliances. Treating physicians will need to consult and advise patients on the proper course of actions needed for protection. If the physician advises the cessation of PAP therapy, then positional therapy and/or oral appliance therapy are good treatment alternatives. Dentists can review proper disinfection of oral appliance. Dentists can also recommend limiting the use of alcohol, elective sedating medications and address nasal congestion.

First clean the denture with commercial denture care products. Or use half vinegar and half water as a denture cleanser, antibacterial soap or dishwashing liquid. However, you should not use vinegar if your dentures are partials. You can also simply brush your dentures with antibacterial hand soap or dishwashing liquid and warm water. Another alternative which I have never tried is to zap your dentures in the microwave for three minutes, or soak them in a solution of 2 percent chlorhexidine gluconate, a germicidal mouthwash, for 10 minutes. For the best results, you should use 1:10 dilution of 0.5% sodium hypochlorite solution and add a teaspoon of calcium-chelating detergent, such as Calgon, to the solution. But dentures that contain metal shouldn’t go in the microwave and the harsh chemical rinse might be too strong for daily use.

Another way we can assist our patients is to educate and help facilitate nasal breathing. It was shown that healthy paranasal sinus epithelium expresses an inducible NO synthase that continuously generates large amounts of NO, a pluripotent gaseous messenger with potent vasodilating, and antimicrobial activity. NO may be regarded as an "aerocrine" hormone that is produced in the nose and sinuses and transported to a distal site of action with every inhalation.

NO frequently is an important mediator in intracellular inhibition of viral replication, which results in lower viral yields and more efficient host clearance of the infection, hence recovery. The reduction in nasal NO may contribute to the decreased resistance to airway infections in these patients. We are blessed as dentists to know these facts. We have been working to promote healthy nasal breathing long before the worldwide viral research project started.

Again it is my sincere wish that all of you are minimally affected by this unexpected situation. The AACP is here to provide you the needed resources to assist your practices through these unusual times.

I wish you, your family and your community good health. Please stay well rested and continue to breathing thru your nose. If you need any assistance, please feel free to reach out to not only me, but any of our Directors or our new management company, AMBD.

Dr. Jeanne Bailey
President, American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (AACP)

  1.833.641.2227 | members@aacfp.org