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Minerva Psychiatry 2021 September;62(3):172-8

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-6612.20.02103-2


language: English

Anxious patients and new COVID-19 dental office protocol

Rosa DE STEFANO 1, Francesca GORASSINI 2, Salvatore BOCCHIERI 3, Sergio SAMBATARO 4, Michele SIMEONE 4, Chiara STUMPO 2, Giovanni SURACE 5, 6, Cesare D’AMICO 2, Luca FIORILLO 2, 7

1 Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences, Morphological and Functional Images, G. Martino Hospital, University of Messina, Messina, Italy; 2 School of Dentistry, Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences, Morphological and Functional Images, G. Martino Hospital, University of Messina, Messina, Italy; 3 School of Medicine, Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy; 4 Department of Neurosciences Reproductive and Odontostomatological Sciences, Federico II University, Naples, Italy; 5 Clinical Analysis Laboratory “Dott. Francesco Siracusa Rizzi S.r.l.,” Reggio Calabria, Italy; 6 Unit of Microbiology and Virology, North Health Center ASP 5, Reggio Calabria, Italy; 7 Multidisciplinary Department of Medical-Surgical and Odontostomatological Specialties, Luigi Vanvitelli University of Campania, Naples, Italy

BACKGROUND: Dentists are one of the most at risk of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease-19) infection professional category. In fact, the performance of the various treatments could generate a large number of droplets and aerosols that could carry the viruses. Being SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2) a virus that is transmitted mainly by close contact with the droplets that cannot be contained with the standard of protection measures used so far. Patients should go to the dental offices after a telephone triage agreed with the dentist. The aim of this study was to verify whether and how the new protocols could influence dental phobia in patients and how the COVID-19 infection is part of the experience of those who suffer from anxious spectrum disorders.
METHODS: Generally, a person who suffers from anxiety disorders tends to avoid and/or postpone visits and dental sessions.
RESULTS: The publication of the new protocols relating to the cleaning and disinfection of environments and surfaces, the use of new personal protective equipment (PPE), the questionnaires to be made by telephone and in the studio are a further element of concern or contribute to reassuring this type of patient.
CONCLUSIONS: Further studies and clinical trials are needed to highlight these problems in patients.

KEY WORDS: Dental anxiety; Dentistry; COVID-19; Guideline; Phobic disorders; Fear; Anxiety

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