|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 878-879
Dental practice during the COVID.19 pandemic: Challenges and the way forward
Byalakere Rudraiah Chandrashekar1, S Suma2, A Bhagyalakshmi2
1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, JSS Dental College and Hospital, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, JSS Medical Institutions' Campus, Mysore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, JSS Dental College and Hospital, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, JSS Medical Institutions' Campus, Mysore, Karnataka, India
|Date of Submission||06-Oct-2020|
|Date of Decision||23-Oct-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||26-Oct-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||25-Dec-2020|
Byalakere Rudraiah Chandrashekar
Department of Public Health Dentistry, JSS Dental College and Hospital, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, JSS Medical Institutions' Campus, SS Nagar, Mysore, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Chandrashekar BR, Suma S, Bhagyalakshmi A. Dental practice during the COVID.19 pandemic: Challenges and the way forward. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:878-9
|How to cite this URL:|
Chandrashekar BR, Suma S, Bhagyalakshmi A. Dental practice during the COVID.19 pandemic: Challenges and the way forward. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 18];3:878-9. Available from: https://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2020/3/4/878/304984
Dental practice subsequent to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become a major challenge, with only emergency dental services being offered to the patients. All elective dental procedures have been deferred considering the high risk of transmission of COVID-19 during dental procedures, but for how long can dental professionals continue to offer only emergency care considering the uncertainty about when the pandemic will end? A major challenge posed to the dental professionals at the moment is to balance the possibility of resuming dental services while preventing the spread of COVID-19 through cross-contamination. Although it is possible to resume dental services while taking all the necessary precautions, the emergency management of oncology and trauma cases will incur reasonably extensive financial and operational expenditure while adhering to the guidelines put forth by the statutory bodies, which will ultimately have to be borne by the patients.
Dholam et al. have meticulously described the guidelines followed when offering dental services to patients undergoing oncological care at the Tata Memorial Hospital, a tertiary cancer care institute in Mumbai, India. They have elaborated on the standard protocol to be followed by all the dental health-care personnel (DHCP) within the dental operatory and laboratory where dental appliances are fabricated. Standard protocols followed while offering emergency dental services by operating dentists, auxiliary/support staff, laboratory technicians, and workforce involved in the safe disposal of biomedical waste at the Tata Memorial Hospital could be adopted by all dental hospitals/clinics offering such services.
However, as the health-care facilities initiate the relaxation of restrictions on dental health-care services, such as undertaking elective procedures, we need to consider certain recent guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The updated guidelines are reorganized under two sections with key strategies in [Table 1].
|Table 1: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and key strategies for infection prevention control practices during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic|
Click here to view
Dental operators may adopt the infection prevention checklist for dental settings by the CDC to optimize the basic expectations for safe care. Procuring additional resources and personal protective equipment for DHCP will substantially increase the cost of oral health-care services which are already beyond the reach of an average Indian middle-class family. Government funding for these additional requirements in these unprecedented circumstances can reduce the burden on dental health-care professionals and patients.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Gugnani N, Gugnani S. Safety protocols for dental practices in the COVID-19 era. Evid Based Dent 2020;21:56-7.
Dholam KP, Sharma MR, Gurav SV, Singh GP, Manjrekar N. Dental measures during the COVID-19 pandemic in cancer patients. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:429-33. [Full text]
Ayub K, Alani A. Acute endodontic and dental trauma provision during the COVID-19 crisis. Br Dent J 2020;229:169-75.
Kulkarni T, Sharma P, Pande P, Agrawal R, Rane S, Mahajan A. COVID-19: A review of protective measures. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:244-53. [Full text]