• Vol. 49 No. 5, 312–319
  • 01 May 2020

Precautions When Providing Dental Care During Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

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ABSTRACT

Transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)—caused by novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2—through aerosolised saliva and respiratory droplets is possible when aerosol-generating dental procedures are performed. Consequently, dental practitioners are at increased risk of being infected when treating COVID-19 patients. A comprehensive review of the current literature on precautions when providing dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic is discussed and recommendations for dental practitioners are made. Dental practitioners should actively keep themselves abreast of the guidelines published by both national and international authorities and adhere strictly to them.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) as pneumonia of unknown aetiology in the Chinese city of Wuhan on 31 December 2019. Since then, COVID-19 has spread across the globe and a pandemic was declared on 11 March 2020 by the WHO. COVID-19 is transmitted through respiratory droplets and contact routes2 Respiratory droplets are defined by the WHO as >5 µm in diameter and can be either aerosols (<50 µm) or spatters (>50 µm). Although airborne transmission by droplet nuclei has not been ruled out, it is unlikely to be the main route of transmission.

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