Recommendations for Dental Care during COVID-19 Pandemic

J Clin Med. 2020 Jun 12;9(6):E1833. doi: 10.3390/jcm9061833.

Abstract

Dental clinics were suspected to be a hotspot for nosocomial transmission of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), yet there has been no clear recommendation about emergency dental care and appropriate personal protective equipment during pandemics. In this paper, we aim to summarize recommendations for (i) patient risk assessment, (ii) patient triage, and (iii) measures to prevent infection of health professionals and nosocomial transmission in dental clinics. The available evidence was collected by performing searches on PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases. We reviewed papers on COVID-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), influenza, and related respiratory viral diseases. Legal and ethical frameworks, as well as international (e.g., World Health Organization (WHO)) and national (e.g., public health institutes, dental associations) guidelines were screened to summarize recommendations related to dental emergency care. To assess the patient risk, a questionnaire was developed to classify patients at unknown, high, and very high risk. Patient triage recommendations were summarized in a flow chart that graded the emergency level of treatments (i.e., urgent, as soon as possible, and postpone). Measures to prevent disease transmission based on current evidence were grouped for dental health professionals, dental clinics, and patients. The present recommendations may support health professionals implement preventative measures during the pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; dental emergency treatment; patient questionnaire; patient triage.