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Due to the unique characteristics of dental procedures where a large number of droplets and aerosols could be generated, the standard protective measures in daily clinical work are not effective enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The authors provide a review of the etiology, epidemiological characteristics, clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment.
The authors recommended the following procedures to minimize the risk of infection of COVID-19 in the dental practice:
Establishment of pre-check triage to monitor staff and patients
Quarantine for at least 14 days for patients from epidemic regions
Medical masks for all patients and accompanying persons
Four-handed technique to minimize cross-contamination
Face shields and goggles are essential during the use of rotatory instruments
Use of saliva ejectors to reduce the production of droplets
Avoid the use of three-way syringe and any aerosol-generating tool
Consider panoramic and CBCT exams over intra-oral x-rays
Reinforce the use of rubber dam
Selection of absorbable suture to reduce the number of visits
– LuizMeirelles, DDS, MS, PhD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
The epidemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), originating in Wuhan, China, has become a major public health challenge for not only China but also countries around the world. The World Health Organization announced that the outbreaks of the novel coronavirus have constituted a public health emergency of international concern. As of February 26, 2020, COVID-19 has been recognized in 34 countries, with a total of 80,239 laboratory-confirmed cases and 2,700 deaths. Infection control measures are necessary to prevent the virus from further spreading and to help control the epidemic situation. Due to the characteristics of dental settings, the risk of cross infection can be high between patients and dental practitioners. For dental practices and hospitals in areas that are (potentially) affected with COVID-19, strict and effective infection control protocols are urgently needed. This article, based on our experience and relevant guidelines and research, introduces essential knowledge about COVID-19 and nosocomial infection in dental settings and provides recommended management protocols for dental practitioners and students in (potentially) affected areas.