Model for Taking Care of Patients with Early Childhood Caries during the SARS-Cov-2 Pandemic

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May 26;17(11):3751. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17113751.


Pending the availability of vaccines to contain the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the current solution is "social distancing" with a reduction of dental treatments to those assessed as urgent and emergency cases. These treatments also involve Early Childhood Caries (ECC) due to the fact that this disease affects preschool children (a vulnerable population) and, in addition, shows a propensity to evolve into more serious complications (dental pain, infections). A narrative review was carried out to support a protocol for treating ECC with efficacious and safe (in terms of SARS-CoV-2 transmission) procedures. Protocol involves criteria for patients' selection remotely (telemedicine), and well-detailed criteria/equipment and hygiene procedures to combat against SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Moreover, the protocol proposes innovative caries treatments, named Minimally Invasive Treatments (MITs), well known in pedodontics for their high level of children's acceptance during dental care. MITs allow for caries removal (particularly in primary teeth) without any high-speed rotating instrument cooled with nebulized air-water spray (with high risk of virus environmental diffusion), usually adopted during traditional treatments. For evaluating MITs effectiveness in caries management, only Systematic Review and Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) were included in our study, without any risk of bias assessment. The indications proposed in this protocol could support clinicians for the temporary management of ECC until the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic ends.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; early childhood caries; infection control; minimally invasive.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Dental Caries / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic
  • Tooth, Deciduous*

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2