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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 266-272

Attitude, practices and experience of dental professionals during COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional survey from Gujarat, India

1 Department of Dentistry, Pramukh Swami Medical College, Bhaikaka University, Anand, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Prosthodontics, Sri Aurobindo College of Dentistry, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
3 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Ahmedabad Dental College and Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
4 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Ahmedabad Dental College and Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
5 Department of Prosthodontics, Ahmedabad Dental College and Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Aalap Sureshkumar Prajapati
Department of Dentistry, Pramukh Swami Medical College, Bhaikaka University, Karamsad, Anand, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aihb.aihb_58_21

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Introduction: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a declared public health emergency of international concern. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classified health-care professionals and exposure risk to coronavirus (COVID-19), identifying dental professionals in the very high-risk group due to the specificity of dental procedures and instrumentations used. Guidelines from relevant authorities suggested providing only emergency and urgent dental treatment during the pandemic which has led majority of dental practice to stop, thus instilling anxiety in the dental professionals. A study to assess the attitude, practice and experience of dental professionals from Gujarat state during the COVID-19 pandemic was planned. Materials and Methods: An online questionnaire consisting of 32 questions using Google Form was distributed to 315 dental professionals. Data obtained were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 22.0. Descriptive statistical analysis was used to describe variables. Chi-square test was used to find a significant association between parameters, and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Overall, 194 dental professionals (104 general dentists and 90 specialists) filled the questionnaire. Nearly half of the participants (49.5%) said that personal protective equipment (PPE) is uncomfortable while performing dental procedures. The majority of them (86.6%) insisted on increasing the cost of dental treatments. Regarding new practices adapted during the pandemic, 53 dental professionals (27.3%) did not find teledentistry effective in resolving the patient's problem. Only 75 dental professionals (38.7%) followed all the screening criteria for patients. Fifty-nine participants (30.4%) got the COVID-19 test for patients requiring the aerosol-generating procedure. While 125 participants (64.4%) performed aerosol-generating procedures either in urgent/emergency cases or elective cases, only 115 (59.3%) used full PPE with an appropriate mask. One hundred and thirty-seven (70.6%) of them reported a decrease in income during the pandemic, while 74 (38.1%) suffered from anxiety and depression. Conclusion: Dental health-care providers are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19. Thus, they should execute proposed precautionary measures more diligently. Regular training and screening of dental professionals should be undertaken by state regulatory bodies. Adapting and adhering to change in work protocols by dental professionals will ensure not only their safety but also their patients. The emergence of COVID-19 has been great learning for the field of dentistry, and the dental practice is going to change for the better.

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