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Minerva Dental and Oral Science 2022 April;71(2):71-8

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-6329.21.04548-4


lingua: Inglese

How dental activity has changed following COVID-19: a single-center experience

Rossana IZZETTI , Stefano GENNAI, Marco NISI, Mario GABRIELE, Filippo GRAZIANI

Unit of Dentistry and Oral Surgery, Department of Surgical, Medical and Molecular Pathology and Critical Care Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 outbreak had an extremely relevant impact on dental activity. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a previously unseen change in terms of procedures, organization of patient flow, and personal protective equipment (PPE) employed led to a reorganization of all the aspects of patient management. The aim of the present study was to report and compare current dental activity with pre-COVID era.
METHODS: Data on the dental activity in the period from 9th March to 9th September 2020 were retrieved and compared with the same period of the previous year. The differences with pre-COVID era in terms of patient schedule and PPE were evaluated using Student t-test for independent data. Significance was set at P<0.05.
RESULTS: During the lockdown, dental activity was reduced by almost the 90%, although emergencies and urgent treatments were still performed in a high number of patients. In the six months comprised between March and September 2020, the overall activity decreased by the 50% compared to the same period of the previous year. The access to the department was modified in order to guarantee a safe patient flow. Triage and temperature measurement were performed in all patients to exclude both the presence of symptoms and potential contact with infected subjects. Moreover, appointments were scheduled every 45 minutes, and the waiting rooms reorganized. A higher number of PPE items was employed by dental health care workers.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the measures adopted appear effective in guaranteeing a safe dental activity both for patients and dental health care workers.

KEY WORDS: Public health dentistry; Dental education; Infection control; Practice management; Prevention and control

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