The only thing we are thinking,afraid and want to overcome is COVID-19 nowadays. WHO declared it as a global pandemic. Big,powerful and developed nation are on their knees in front of it. The big reason of this Chaos in the world is it’s spreaders. The contagiousness of the disease is can be measured by rapidness of spread and casualties caused by it.
Everyone is now aware that it is primarily affecting respiratory system and dentistry is one of the department where dentist is in close contact with it.
Why dental is at more risk?
WHO has announced that COVID-19 viruses is also present in saliva of infected persons. Saliva plays a vital role in it’s transmission. Dentist are in direct contact with patient and they perform aerosol- generating procedures, that may become the reason for transmission. In starting of infection patient may not be presented with symptoms so, unknowingly dentist provides direct services to them. This is mandatory for the dentist to follow precaution for patient placement, hand hygiene and PPE( personnel protective equipment). Universal precautions is the way to combat COVID-19.
In dental settings, the closeness is required to give services so the risk of getting infected is also high. The daily clinic protective equipment is not enough to prevent the spread of infection in dentist as there are more production of aerosols and droplets while giving services to the patient in incubation period.
What is to be done to prevent infection to dentist and patients?
Practicing good hand hygiene is the key to prevent transmission of micro-organisms. According to recent studies it is seen that covid-19 is spread through surface. Corona virus can be on surface for few days according to the type of surface and environment. Here comes the role of hand hygiene and disinfection of surfaces in dental clinic.
Measures to follow for breaking the chain of transmission of covid-19:
- Waiting room to be sanitized and consider to be infected.
- Proper air exchange and ventilation is to be maintained.
- All surfaces like chair,table,counter desk magazine that come in contact with healthcare professionals and patient are to be seen as potentially infected.
- Every surfaces are to be disinfected with alcoholic disinfectant.
- Mask is to be provided to patients in waiting room.
- Air condition system has to be sanitized frequently.
- The use PPE ( personnel protective equipment ) by practitioner .
- N-95 respirator to used by dentist while performing procedures.
- The other staff at clinic should proper social distance while dealing with patient.
- Hand piece must have anti-reflux devices to prevent contaminations. Use of saliva ejectors.
- Dentist minimize operations that can produce droplets or aerosols.
NOTE: Dentist to see only emergencies case. The regular or routine check-up should not be done.
What includes in dental emergencies and dental urgencies?
American dental association has given list for dental emergencies to be taken care of. They have published the management of those emergencies also. These are following:
- Dental emergencies:
Bacterial infection of gum or teeth which leads to swelling of gums and surrounding tissues. These swellings are blocking the airway( fully or partially). Hemorrhage( uncontrolled bleeding).
- Dental urgencies;
Swelling,pain,bacterial infection causing abscess, dry socket, post operative dressing, wisdom teeth eruption causing severe pain, trauma to tooth, jaw etc. The conditions in which dental Care is must needed then medical care.
- Non-urgent dental :
Regular and routine dental check-up, follow up visit, asymptomatic tooth ,aesthetic surgeries, braces , dental implants placement etc . Any procedure that can be postponed and cannot make it worse to live.