COVID-19 Related Health and Infection Control Practices Among Dentists


As dentists begin reopening their practices during a global pandemic, the risk of COVID-19 infection that dentists face in providing dental care remains unknown. Estimating the occupational risk of COVID-19, and producing evidence on the types of infection control practices and dental practices that may affect COVID-19 risk, is therefore imperative. The goal of the proposed study is to understand U.S.-based dentists' health and dental-practice reactions to COVID-19. To estimate this, U.S-based dentists will be surveyed monthly. These findings could be used to describe the prevalence and incidence of COVID-19 among dentists, determine what infection control steps dentists take over time, and estimate whether infection control adherence in dental practice is related to COVID-19 incidence.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Observational
  • Study Design
    • Time Perspective: Prospective
  • Study Primary Completion Date: June 8, 2021


  • Other: No intervention
    • No intervention; this is a purely observational study

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • U.S. dentists
    • Dentists in the United States

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • COVID-19 probable or confirmed case
    • Time Frame: 18 months
    • COVID-19 case as confirmed by clinician and/or detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or a specific antigen in a clinical specimen

Secondary Measures

  • Anxiety
    • Time Frame: 12 months
    • Assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire for Depression and Anxiety (PHQ-4). Two items scored 0 to 3 (total score of 0-6), with higher numbers indicating greater anxiety.
  • Depression
    • Time Frame: 12 months
    • Assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire for Depression and Anxiety (PHQ-4). Two items scored 0 to 3 (total score of 0-6), with higher numbers indicating greater depressive symptoms.
  • Dental practice infection control efforts
    • Time Frame: 12 months
    • Self-reports of infection control efforts in the respondents’ primary dental practices
  • Dentists’ use of personal protective equipment
    • Time Frame: 12 months
    • Self-reports of personal protective equipment use

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Primary dental practice is in United States
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Dentist

Exclusion Criteria

•Answered "no" to ADA survey sent May 2020 that read "As part of ongoing efforts to monitor the effect of COVID-19 on the dental team, the ADA is interested in collecting data related to infection rates. Would you also be willing to participate in a separate, longitudinal study that would require you to report whether you or your staff have exhibited symptoms of COVID-19, and whether you have been tested or diagnosed? The study would be anonymous and under IRB protocols."

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • American Dental Association
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Cameron Estrich, Health Research Analyst – American Dental Association
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Cameron G Estrich, MPH, PhD, Principal Investigator, American Dental Association Science and Research Institute

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