COVID-19 and Dentistry: Prevention in Dental Practice, a Literature Review

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 26;17(12):4609. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17124609.


SARS-CoV-2 is a member of the family of coronaviruses. The first cases were recorded in Wuhan, China, between December 2019 and January 2020. Italy is one of the most affected countries in Europe. COVID-19 is a new challenge in modern dentistry. New guidelines are required in dental clinics to avoid contagion caused by cross-infections. A narrative review was performed using both primary sources, such as scientific articles and secondary ones, such as bibliographic indexes, web pages, and databases. The main search engines were PubMed, SciELO, and Google Scholar. Twelve articles were selected to develop the bibliographic review by applying pre-established inclusion and exclusion criteria. Precautionary measures should be applied to control COVID-19 in clinical practice. Several authors have highlighted the importance of telephone triage and/or clinic questionnaires, body temperature measurement, usage of personal protective equipment, surface disinfection with ethanol between 62% and 71%, high-speed instruments equipped with an anti-retraction system, four-handed work, and large-volume cannulas for aspiration. Clinically, the use of a rubber dam is essential. FFP2 (or N95) and FFP3 respirators, if compared to surgical masks, provide greater protection for health workers against viral respiratory infections. Further accurate studies are needed to confirm this.

Keywords: Covid-19; PPE; dental practice; dentistry; hygiene; infection; mask.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus / pathogenicity*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Dentistry*
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / standards*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Personal Protective Equipment / standards
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission*
  • Practice Patterns, Dentists' / statistics & numerical data
  • SARS-CoV-2