COVID-19: ‘Why dentists should not shy away from service-delivery’
A dental expert, Dr Timothy Aladelusi, has called on dentists in the country to stop shying away from providing services so as not to have a repeat of the Chinese experience where dental and oral infections had increased by 21 per cent following the country’s dental clinics’ deliberate choice of rendering only emergency services.
Aladelusi, a consultant maxillofacial surgeon, spoke at the May Continuing Medical Education series of the Nigerian Medical Association, Oyo State branch with the title “Impact of COVID-19 on Oral Healthcare Services” through zoom.
The dentist said reduced dental healthcare services for the populace should not continue indefinitely because many dental problems that had been left untreated were becoming full blown.
According to him, “if we don’t find a way to treat diseases that are otherwise urgent now, the diseases eventually will become an emergency.”
He said that COVID-19 has changed the way, thinking and approach to situations and as such dentists should take a pragmatic approach to ensure that transmission of COVID-19 in dental clinic is curtailed.
Aladelusi added that “we have never been challenged in this global proportion. All industries had to change their operations and the oral health industry has to adapt and evolve practices.”
The expert said the risk of coronavirus infection in the dental clinic can come from saliva, droplets in those with respiratory symptoms, aerosols as well as contaminated surfaces at the workstation, dental chair and floor.
He said transmission of coronavirus can be reduced in the dental clinic by practicing standard infection prevention control measures such as hand washing before access to the dental facility, donning a face mask and gaggling with a mouth wash for at least 60 seconds to reduce the coronavirus load in the mouth.
He said measures should also be taken to minimise the number of persons in the waiting room and overlapping dental appointments.
He, however, called for training on infection, prevention control for dental healthcare providers, improved preparedness and proper use of donning and doffing of personal protective equipment.
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