Covid-19 had impacted various industries and sectors globally. One of the sectors that was deeply affected by the pandemic was Dental Industry. Will the dental industry be able to bounce back from this dark phase?
One of the trendings Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs on google is whether an individual should see a dentist or not. Covid-19 had a huge impact on dentistry since day 1 of the lockdown. The dental students and doctors were not able to practise dentistry in the whole lockdown which dropped the revenue generation. It is said that dentistry is witnessing its darkest phases with the spread and growth of coronavirus. As dentistry involves oral check-ups and treatment, Dental surgeons, nurses, staff and even the patients are at high risk of contracting and transmitting the disease.
Impact of Covid-19 on Dentistry
In a survey, it was found that a major population of India who even after brushing daily, gets oral health problems. Indian Dental Association said in one of their reports that over 60% of children undergo dental caries. Despite this, there is a major chunk of people who avoid visiting dentists before the things slip out of their hands or the pain goes unbearable. Many dental professionals’ income has been disrupted with the ongoing pandemic.
2020 was a tough year for the dentists as it was difficult to ascertain the severity of the pandemic and for how long it was to be present globally. The future of the professionals and the dental students was a matter of concern.
Practising was also one of the major challenges faced by the dental institutes and training centres. Private institutes opened in 2021 for a brief period of time but the government ones were shut due to safety purposes, which definitely affected the practical skills of the dental students. The fraternity needs to be careful when it comes to reopening any institute and must follow the government norms. If there would have been any mishap regarding the virus, it would have caused havoc among the students, their parents and staff members.
As dentistry involves oral treatment, patients have a fear of contracting viruses, which is completely understandable. Hence it was advised that people shall consult through video calls or over phone calls if they faced any trouble regarding their oral health.
National Guidelines for Safe Dental Practice During Covid-19 pandemic
The guidelines provide safe dental practices to be followed in dental clinics located in the public and private sectors.
Protocols for dental clinics
- Teleconsultations shall be preferable
- One patient at a time in the examination room if possible, without an attendant.
- Sufficient time should be provided to patients for evaluation
- Appoint vulnerable groups in a separate slot, maybe early morning appointments
- Patients without appointments should be discouraged
- All patients entering the dental clinic should be screened for symptoms of Covid-19
- Regulate the entry of patients who are not wearing masks and carrying sanitizers.
- Display visual alerts at the entrance of the facility
- Ensure physical distancing between waiting chairs, preferably six fee (if you remember 2 gaj ki doori)
- A bin with lid should be available wherein patients can dispose of their tissues, gloves etc.
One can read all the guidelines through the link given below:
The Covid times have definitely taught us how fake news and misinformation spread. It is imperative to check the authenticity of any information that an individual is receiving through any source. The coming together of dentistry and medicine, pharma and IT in the country will make a huge positive impact providing essential, acute emergency dental services to the masses. Practitioners using technology can be fruitful for them as well as for the patients. There should be transparency in the dental industry as different clinics demand different fee amounts.
As it is said that change is nature’s law, the dental sector shall also adapt with the change in order to survive.