December 2020

Volume 37, Issue 4

Editorial: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on dentistry

Authors: Professor Wagner Marcenes
doi: 10.1922/CDH_Dec20editorialMarcenes03

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the delivery of health services across the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak to be a global pandemic on 11th March 2020, prompting the closure of dental services worldwide. The main reason for this was the infection risk associated with Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGP), such as the use of highspeed drills (Al-Halabi et al., 2020). During this period, even access to emergency dental care has been limited. A review of the current guidance issued by international organisations and professional bodies regarding the re-opening of dental services showed considerable variation in the safety procedures required. Most sources recommended triage of patients and an emphasis on only emergency and urgent care; wearing filtering facepiece class 2 masks; reducing the risk of transmission; and avoiding AGP. All sources stressed the need to focus on activities that minimise risk to staff, patients and the public, and to support high quality clinical care (CoDER, 2020). The implementation of these guidelines in conventional dentistry may cause a significant financial burden for providers, compromising their financial sustainability. The investment necessary to equip practices to ensure that they are fit for purpose now includes specific COVID-19 concerns; Personal Protective Equipment for practice personnel; management of the clinical room, including post-operative cleaning and disinfection and waste disposal (CoDER, 2020). This will dramatically increase the cost of conventional dentistry. Accordingly, patients will be less able to afford dental treatment because it is already very expensive; further excluding the less fortunate from accessing dental treatment. By contrast, Minimum Intervention Dentistry (MID) (Innes et al., 2017), the modern biological approach to the control of dental caries, offers a cost-effective solution to the delivery of dental services during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This should be adopted comprehensively worldwide.

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Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial: The impact of COVID-19 on population oral health 236-238 Download
Editorial: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on dentistry 239-241 Download
The current referral patterns for temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) in Greater Manchester 242-246 £10 single article
Oral Health Inequalities in 0-17-year-old Children Referred for Dental Extractions Under General Anaesthesia in Wolverhampton 247-252 £10 single article
Temporomandibular dysfunction among working Australian adults and association with workplace effort-reward imbalance 253-259 £10 single article
Barriers and facilitators to health visiting teams delivering oral health promotion to families of young children: a mixed methods study with vignettes 260-268 £10 single article
Experience of collaboration at a family centre for preschool children in Sweden 269-274 £10 single article
Dental Public Health Education in Europe: a survey of European Dental Schools to determine current practice and inform a core undergraduate programme 275-280 £10 single article
Caries prevalence in 6- to 10-year-old German schoolchildren with and without disability 281-286 Download
Recruitment and Consent in an observational study 287-292 Download
Enamel development defects and oral symptoms: A hierarchical approach 293-298 £10 single article

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