BACKGROUND AND AIM: The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has become a public health emergency of worldwide concern. In addition to the serious impacts of this disease, it has caused numerous problems for dental treatments. Here, the findings on the first phase of the cohort study on reopening the School of Dentistry, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran and its subordinate clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic were reported.
METHODS: Data were collected via a 100-item self-administered online questionnaire from June 2 to June 20, 2020. A total of 1,110 members from the academics, students, and personnel of the school participated in the study. The questionnaire included demographic data, socio-personal patterns, systemic conditions, COVID-19 infection information, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
RESULTS: Since the outbreak of the pandemic, 87.4% of the professors, 49.0% of the students, and 29.0% of the personnel of the school used personal vehicles other than public transportation. In addition, over 50.0% of the students and about 70.0% of the other two groups had not attended any gatherings. Moreover, 83.0% of the academics, 93.0% of the students, and 84.0% of the personnel had no systemic conditions. Furthermore, about 16.0% of the professors, 14.0% of the students, and 22.0% of the personnel had tested for the COVID-19 infection, of whom only about 1.0% reported positive results. Fatigue, dry coughs, and shortness of breath were the most common symptoms reported by the respondents.
CONCLUSION: Dental offices are high-risk environments for the transmission of air-borne diseases. Considering the low percentage of the participants with positive test, it may be concluded that the safety protocols could effectively limit the spread of the COVID-19 infection.