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The foreseen scenario of dental profession in India during and after coronavirus disease-2019

 Department of Dentistry, Government Taluk Head Quarters Hospital, Malappuram, Kerala, India

Date of Submission26-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance08-Jan-2021
Date of Web Publication24-Jun-2021

Correspondence Address:
Thorakkal Shamim,
Shangrila, Parappanangadi - 676 303, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_75_20

How to cite this URL:
Shamim T. The foreseen scenario of dental profession in India during and after coronavirus disease-2019. Ind Psychiatry J [Epub ahead of print] [cited 2021 Aug 1]. Available from: https://www.industrialpsychiatry.org/preprintarticle.asp?id=318935

This letter is an attempt to address the foreseen scenario of dental profession in India during and after coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The apex body of dental education, Dental Council of India has formulated stringent guidelines to stick on personal protection and sterilization protocol to adapt in individual dental clinics, hospitals, and academic institutions of dental education in India.[1] The personal protection and sterilization protocol include Personal protective equipment, N95 masks, and fumigation of work area. Mandatory instruction given to avoid aerosol-producing dental procedures (scaling, cavity preparation, endodontic treatment, and crown preparation) and human consideration given to attend emergency procedures.[1] Since the dental clinics of private institutions are closed as per the lockdown declared by the individual state governments, there is a patient flow in the dental outpatient department of the hospitals and dental colleges for emergency procedures. The emergency dental procedures are done as per the stringent sterilization guidelines, but there is a scarcity of personal protective equipment and N95 masks.

It is evident from a study that unethical practices boomed with the mushrooming of dental clinics with heavy flow of patients in urban setup.[2] The above trend may be reversed, and the dental practice may change into ethical well-being with social distancing, stringent sterilization protocol, informed consent, and elective procedure after COVID-19 outbreak. On the other hand, the dental clinics in rural setup may face difficulties to follow the stringent guidelines to stick on personal protection and sterilization protocol due to financial constraints (difficult to charge fee from lower class patients for personal protection and sterilization protocol) and dental clinics may be closed in long run. The government may create dental surgeon post in rural primary health centers and community health centers to rectify above defect to attain universal oral health coverage in India.[3] Fear/anxiety is creeping among dental professionals in urban setup since the patient may not disclose any possible contact with COVID 19 and foreign country travel history.[4] To conclude, the government should support dental professionals by giving psychological and professional support to run the dental clinics by giving personal protection and sterilization devices in subsidized rate.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Dental Council of India. COVID-19 Guidelines for Dental Colleges, Dental Students and Dental Professionals by Dental Council of India 16 Apr 2020. Available from: http://www.dciindia.gov.in/Admin/NewsArchives/DCI%20Guidelines%20on%20COVID-19.pdf. [Last accessed on 2020 Apr 19].  Back to cited text no. 1
Kemparaj VM, Panchmal GS, Kadalur UG. The top 10 ethical challenges in dental practice in Indian scenario: Dentist perspective. Contemp Clin Dent 2018;9:97-104.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Venkatesh N, Ramanarayanan V. Universal oral health coverage: An Indian perspective. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2019;17:266-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
Sunitha Rao R. 26,000 dentists in Karnataka stare at uncertain future. The Times of India; 2020 Apr 23. Available from: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/26000-dentists-in-karnataka-stare-at-uncertain-future/articleshow/75311980.cms. [Last accessed on 2021 Jan 08].  Back to cited text no. 4


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