Dental care during the Covid-19 pandemic – To treat or not to treat?
Keywords:COVID-19, pandemic, dental care, infection control, cross-contamination
The recent spread of COVID-19 presents a huge public health concern. Clinical presentations of COVID-19 range from asymptomatic cases to severe pneumonia that can lead to death. Drastic measures were necessary to prevent the disease from spreading and protect the most vulnerable groups in the general population. The rapid reorganization of the healthcare system and great efforts made by medical staff were needed to admit to hospitals and then treat a progressively growing number of patients. The predominant route of virus transmission is through direct contact with an infected individual or respiratory droplets, therefore, all dental procedures with aerosol-formation pose an extremely high risk for the spread of infection. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the current epidemiological situation, routes of transmission, and specific recommendations for dental practices including patient screening and triage, infection control, and treatment protocols. In this situation, it is essential that all dental healthcare workers make wise clinical decisions and educate themselves and their patients on how to prevent the spread of infection.
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