December 2021

Volume 38, Issue 4

Dental Public Health in Action: Experiences and Responses of Oral Health Care Professionals during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Malta

Authors: Anne-Marie Agius Edward J. Sammut Ethel Vento Zahra Gabriella Gatt Paula J. Vassallo Arthur R. G. Cortes Nikolai J. Attard
doi: 10.1922/CDH_00328Agius04

Abstract

Initial impetus for action: Maltese Oral Health Care Professionals (OHCP) experienced changes to clinical practice and redeployment during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the early stages, there were few data on the resultant changes to the provision of dental services or their impact on the wellbeing of dental professionals. Solutions Suggested: Two questionnaires were designed to explore different domains in OHCP working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as in other areas/sectors. The findings were intended to inform guidance documents and to better support the profession. Findings: Anxiety-provoking factors, challenges, and areas of concern of OHCP were identified and practical recommendations to support transitioning to the ‘new normal’ were presented. OHCP expressed anxiety about contracting COVID-19 from their workplace and passing infection to other family members, friends, or patients. As a result, OHCP expressed the need for better protective clothing, workplace ventilation, and air filtration systems. Future implications: Provision of adequate PPE for OHCP was a priority. New guidelines for dental practice were informed by the experiences of the particpating OHCP. University modules to enhance the resilience of OHCP were among the recommendations to support practitioners. Public health competencies illustrated: • Understanding the barriers to provision of oral care and health protection of the workforce and population during the COVID-19 pandemic. • Understanding the experiences and needs of oral health care professionals (OHCP) during the pandemic and learning from them. Keywords: Anxiety, Coping strategies, Dentistry, COVID-19, Dental team, Frontliners

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Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial: The importance of studying communication processes in the dentist: patient interaction 222-223 Download
Editorial:Delivering Better Oral Health 2021 – What’s new and where next? 224-225 Download
Dental Public Health in Action: Experiences and Responses of Oral Health Care Professionals during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Malta 226-229 Download
Determinants of anterior tooth loss in Chilean adults: data from the Chilean National Health Survey 2016-2017. 230-234 £10 single article
Family Functioning and Dental Behaviours of Pre-school Children 235-240 £10 single article
Social inequality in tooth loss: separate and joint effects of household income and dental visits 241-245 £10 single article
Periodontal Status as Mediator of the Association between Socioeconomic Status and Oral Health-Related Quality of Life in Pregnant Women 246-250 £10 single article
Parental perception and acceptance of silver diamine fluoride treatment among Syrian refugees 251-255 £10 single article
A utilisation profile of publicly financed oral examinations in the Republic of Ireland 256-260 £10 single article
Twitter communication of the UK public on dental health and care during a COVID lockdown: “My kingdom for a dentist” 261-267 Download
Private practice dentists’ views of oral health injustice 268-274 £10 single article
Effectiveness of school-based behavioural interventions to improve children’s oral health by reducing sugar intake and promoting oral hygiene: A rapid review of randomised controlled trials. 275-283 £10 single article
Obituary: Ruth Freeman 1954 – 2021 284-284 £10 single article

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