The Open Dentistry Journal




ISSN: ― Volume ,
REVIEW ARTICLE

COVID-19 in Dental Practice: Transmission Risk, Infection Control Challenge, and Clinical Implications



Salwa A. Aldahlawi1, *, Ibtesam K. Afifi1, 2
1 Department of Basic and Clinical Oral Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, Umm Al-Qura University. Makkah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt

Abstract

Objective:

The COVID-19 pandemic has become a worldwide, significant public health challenge. Dental care providers are at high risk due to the nature of their profession, which necessitates close proximity to the patient's oropharyngeal region and the use of droplet and aerosol-generating procedures.

Methods:

A review of the evolving literature on the COVID-19 pandemic was conducted. Published articles addressing SARS-CoV2 transmission modes and risks, and infection control procedures required in the dental office to protect dental patients and health care providers were assessed. Also, clinical guidelines on the management of dental patients during the pandemic were reviewed.

Results:

The established modes of transmission of SARS-CoV2 appear to be through respiratory droplets and through close contact with either symptomatic or asymptomatic patients. In addition to standard precautions of infection control widely followed in dental practices, extra precautionary measures are needed to control the spread of this highly infectious disease. Dental treatment during the pandemic is limited to emergent and urgent cases after a meticulous patient risk assessment and dental needs are triaged to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission and avoid cross-contamination.

Conclusion:

Dentists should be aware of the recently updated knowledge about COVID-19 modes of transmission and the recommended infection control measures in dental settings. Effective management protocols to regulate droplet and aerosol contamination in the dental clinic should be implemented to deliver dental care in a safe environment.

Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019, Dentistry, Dental clinical guidelines, Infection control, Personal protective equipment, Aerosol.


Article Information


Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2020
Volume: 14
First Page: 348
Last Page: 354
Publisher Id: TODENTJ-14-348
DOI: 10.2174/1874210602014010348

Article History:

Received Date: 28/04/2020
Revision Received Date: 22/05/2020
Acceptance Date: 05/06/2020
Electronic publication date: 21/07/2020
Collection year: 2020

© 2020 Aldahlawi and Afifi.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Basic and Clinical Oral Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, Umm Al-Qura University. Makkah, Saudi Arabia; Tel: +966125542487; Fax: +9667442-7443; E-mail: sadahlaawi@uqu.edu.sa



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