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Alternative Methods of Sterilization in Dental Practices Against COVID-19


SARS-CoV-2, and several other microorganisms, may be present in nasopharyngeal and salivary secretions in patients treated in dental practices, so an appropriate clinical behavior is required in order to avoid the dangerous spread of infections. COVID-19 could also be spread when patients touches a contaminated surface with infected droplets and then touch their nose, mouth, or eyes. It is time to consider a dental practice quite similar to a hospital surgery room, where particular attention should be addressed to problems related to the spreading of infections due to air and surface contamination. The effectiveness of conventional cleaning and disinfection procedures may be limited by several factors; first of all, human operator dependence seems to be the weak aspect of all procedures. The improvement of these conventional methods requires the modification of human behavior, which is difficult to achieve and sustain. As alternative sterilization methods, there are some that do not depend on the operator, because they are based on devices that perform the entire procedure on their own, with minimal human intervention. In conclusion, continued efforts to improve the traditional manual disinfection of surfaces are needed, so dentists should consider combining the use of proper disinfectants and no-touch decontamination technologies to improve sterilization procedures.