Transmission Routes of SARS-CoV-2 in Dentistry: A Literature Review

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Health Promotion, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA

2 School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) might be transferred from animals to humans and then escalated into transmission from human to human. Since dentists are regarded as the greatest risk category of healthcare workers in getting COVID-19, this article summarizes the transmission routes of SARS-CoV-2, particularly in dentistry, to gather all the relevant details for dental professionals and healthcare workers. SARS-CoV-2 can be spread through four main ways in dental clinics: inhalation, direct contact, indirect contact, and mucosal interaction. SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted through saliva, fecal-oral, and surgical smoke in an operating room.


Main Subjects

[1] Fini MB. What dentists need to know about COVID-19. Oral Oncology. 2020;105:104741.
[2]  Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W, Li X, Yang B, Song J, Zhao X, Huang B, Shi W, Lu R, Niu P. A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. New England Journal of Medicine. 2020; 382:727-733. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2001017.
[3]  Froum S, Strange M. COVID-19 and the problem with dental aerosols. Oral Medi-cine, Anesthetics and Oral-Systemic Connection [publicação na web]. 2020.
[4]  Han P, Ivanovski S. Saliva—Friend and Foe in the COVID-19 Outbreak. Diagnostics. 2020;10(5):290.
[5]  Fini MB. Oral saliva and CVID-19. Oral Oncology. 2020;108:104821.
[6]  Izzetti R, Nisi M, Gabriele M, Graziani F. COVID-19 transmission in dental practice: brief review of preventive measures in Italy. Journal of Dental Research. 2020;99(9):1030-38.
[7]  Jamal M, Shah M, Almarzooqi SH, Aber H, Khawaja S, El Abed R, Alkhatib Z, Samaranayake LP. Overview of transnational recommendations for COVIDÔÇÉ19 transmission control in dental care settings. Oral Diseases. 2020. DOI: 10.1111/odi.13431.
[8]  Peng X, Xu X, Li Y, Cheng L, Zhou X, Ren B. Transmission routes of 2019-nCoV and controls in dental practice. International Journal of Oral Science. 2020;12(1):1-6.
[9]  Fallahi HR, Keyhan SO, Zandian D, Kim SG, Cheshmi B. Being a front-line dentist during the Covid-19 pandemic: A literature review. Maxillofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2020;42:1-9.
[10] Van Doremalen N, Bushmaker T, Morris DH, Holbrook MG, Gamble A, Williamson BN, Tamin A, Harcourt JL, Thornburg NJ, Gerber SI, Lloyd-Smith JO. Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1. New England Journal of Medicine. 2020;382(16):1564-7. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2004973.
[11] Carrouel F, Conte MP, Fisher J, Gonçalves LS, Dussart C, Llodra JC, Bourgeois D. COVID-19: A recommendation to examine the effect of mouthrinses with β-cyclodextrin combined with citrox in preventing infection and progression.2020;9(4):1126.
[12] Williams GH, Pollok NL, Shay DE, Barr CE. Laminar air purge of microorganisms in dental aerosols: prophylactic procedures with the ultrasonic scaler. Journal of dental research. 1970;49(6):1498-504.
[13] Harrel SK, Molinari J. Aerosols and splatter in dentistry: a brief review of the literature and infection control implications. The Journal of the American Dental Association. 2004;135(4):429-37.
[14] Hawel JE. Operating during COVID-19: Is there a risk of viral transmission from surgical smoke during surgery?. Canadian Journal of Surgery. 2020;63(3):E299-301. DOI:10.1503/cjs.007020.