In Dentists Carly Behm 

Dentists should perform COVID-19 saliva tests on patients, California dentist says

A California dentist is recommending saliva tests for patients to combat COVID-19, according to a Jan. 12 news release.

Joel Strom, DDS, former California State Dental Board president and adjunct fellow at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forsyth Institute, advocates for the tests, the release said. Salivary testing involves spitting into a vial instead of using a nasal swab. Researchers at the Forsyth Institute are looking into ways to develop saliva tests.

"I have a full understanding of where dentistry falls on the healthcare professional spectrum and would not want to encourage any dentist to veer out of our lane and into clear non-dental treatments," Dr. Strom said in the release. "However, collecting saliva, interpreting a test result and referring to a physician is well within the dental scope of practice and provides patients with a low-cost opportunity to be screened and referred should the salivary evaluation warrant that referral."

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