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Table of Contents
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 878-879

Dental practice during the COVID.19 pandemic: Challenges and the way forward


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 Submission06-Oct-2020
Date of Decision23-Oct-2020
Date of Acceptance26-Oct-2020
Date of Web Publication25-Dec-2020

Correspondence Address:
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
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/CRST.CRST_312_20

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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?[1] 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[2] and trauma cases[3] 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.[2] 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).[4] 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

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Dental operators may adopt the infection prevention checklist for dental settings by the CDC to optimize the basic expectations for safe care.[5] Procuring additional resources and personal protective equipment[6] 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.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Gugnani N, Gugnani S. Safety protocols for dental practices in the COVID-19 era. Evid Based Dent 2020;21:56-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
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.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
3.
Ayub K, Alani A. Acute endodontic and dental trauma provision during the COVID-19 crisis. Br Dent J 2020;229:169-75.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19). Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control.html. [Last accessed on 2020 Oct 06].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infection Prevention Checklist for Dental Settings: Basic Expectations for Safe Care. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/infectioncontrol/pdf/safe-care-checklist.pdf. [Last accessed on 2020 Oct 06].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
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.  Back to cited text no. 6
  [Full text]  



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1]



 

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