Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is contagious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It emerged as a global pandemic early in 2020, affecting more than 2000 countries and territories. The infection is highly contagious with disease transmission reported from asymptomatic carriers, including children. It spreads through person-to-person contact, via aerosol and droplets. The practice of social distancing - maintaining a distance of 1 - 2 meters or 6 feet -- between people has been widely recommended to slow or halt the spread. This places orthodontists at high risk of acquiring and transmitting the infection. The objective of this review is to report to orthodontists on the emergence, epidemiology, risks, and precautions during disease crisis. This should help increase awareness, reinforce infection control and prevent cross-transmission within the orthodontic facility.
Methods: A comprehensive literature review of English and non-English articles was performed in March, 2020 using (CORD-19 2020) dataset, PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, and Google Scholar to search for infection control and disease transmission in orthodontics.
Results: This review emphasizes minimizing aerosol production and reinforcing strict infection control measures. Compliance with highest level of personal protection and restriction of treatment to emergency cases is recommended during the outbreak. Surface disinfection, adequate ventilation, and decontamination of instruments and supplies following the guidelines is required.
Conclusion: Reinforcing strict infection control measures and minimizing personal contact and aerosol production are keys to prevent contamination within the orthodontic settings. Although no cases of COVID-19 cross-transmission within a dental facility have been reported, the risk exists and the disease is still emerging. Further studies are required.
Keywords: Coronavirus; Dental Practice Management; Disease Outbreaks; Infection Control; Infectious Disease Transmission; Orthodontist; Public Health Dentistry; Virology.
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