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Objective: The dental surgery, where healthcare personnel work in close proximity to patients and perform aerosol-generating-procedures, is classified as a high exposure risk environment. Dentists should have thorough knowledge about the correct protective measures during clinical practice to reduce transmission of disease. This narrative review proposes comprehensive evidence-based and content-specific guidelines on infection control and communication strategies to help workers in the dental setting mitigate the risks of COVID-19 until effective vaccines are available and to also enhance cross contamination measures generally.
Methods: A review of pertinent literature was carried out in PubMED and other global sites including: American Dental Association, Occupational Safety, Health Administration and British Dental Association, NHS England and Faculty of General Dental Practice, to determine and summarize the current recommendations and safety measures specific to the dental setting throughout the world.
Results: Safety measures are needed to control transmission of COVID-19 at the administrative, clinical and environmental levels. Clinic and appointments should be prepared and arranged in a way to maximize social distancing and minimize virus transmission. Preoperative measures should be taken to reduce the chance of viral exposure and transmission. Personal protective measures should be handled properly by clinical and non-clinical staff members. Engineering measures should also be employed, such as economic air purifiers and ventilation systems should also be considered if Coronavirus is proven to be airborne.
Conclusion: This outbreak should serve as a chance for healthcare authorities and providers to invest in precautionary additional cross contamination measures. These should become part of standard practice, as there are other transmissible diseases which place the dental practitioner at risk of infection.
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