COVID 19 is changing the landscape of everything we know to be normal. The pandemic has challenged the dental professionals and their system. Dental professionals have felt their moral and professional duty to bring out various changes in their practice.
Various changes and protocols have to be followed in the dental clinics. Dentists have turned to tele-consultation to stay connected with patients while practicing social distancing, providing consultation, evaluation and next step action. Aarogya Setu app is a prerequisite to be installed by patients and staff to track the coronavirus infection. Regular body temperature checks using contactless infrared thermal scanners is mandatory in every dental clinic.
COVID 19 forms are to be filled by the patient and this patient screening questionnaire is designed to ascertain possible exposure and the risk of disease severity. Social Distancing has to be strictly followed. All appointments are scheduled to allow extra time between patients. Seating in the waiting area has been rearranged to provide at least 6 feet distance between the patients.
The dental treatment has been divided into Elective Care, Urgent Care and Emergency Care. Strict infection control measures are being taken which include sterilising instruments for each and every patient, disinfecting dental chairs, suction cords, instrument control panels, dental light units and bench-tops between every appointment. Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) is an essential requirement in the dental clinic. It refers to the protective clothing including gloves, face shields, eyewear, face mask and other equipment designed to protect from infection.
Maintaining a proper ventilation system and using air filters in the dental clinics is the need of the hour. Disinfecting the dental operatory before and after the patients is imperative. Dentistry has changed leaps and bounds within a couple of months due to COVID 19.Dentistry today needs a complete structural change to prevent the dentists and the patients from getting infected. The secret of change is to focus all of our energy on building the new protocols.