BACKGROUND AND AIM: Given the nature of the dental profession and the tools and equipment used and direct contact with saliva and mucous membranes, it is crucial to observe all cases of infection control. Due to the high prevalence and risks of coronavirus, and its novelty and sensitivity of the dental work, the present study was conducted to investigate the observance frequency of requirements for providing dental services during COVID-19 epidemic in the dental offices of Sari, Iran.
METHODS: In the present study, 181 dentists, including 147 general dentists and 34 dental specialists in Sari, were surveyed. To collect data, the checklist of Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education was used. It included questions about the use of rubber dam, high-pressure suction, proper ventilation, air disinfection device, screening and triage of clients, and so on. After completing the checklist and scoring, the data were statistically analyzed.Descriptive statistics (frequency analysis) and Chi-square test were used to analyze the data. Statistical significant level was considered at P < 0.05.
RESULTS: The highest observance frequency of the requirements was related to Requirement 14 (observing the distance between clients' chairs) with frequency of 97.2%, followed by Requirement 2 (the use of high-pressure suction), Requirement 7 (package of separate sterile disposable devices for each patient), and Requirement 15 (removal of all common devices in the waiting room), with frequency of 97.0%. The highest observance frequency of preferences was related to Preference 4 (the use of one-way valves in the unit) with frequency of 96.7%. Regarding employment history, dentists with more than 15 years of employment history observed only the item of waste disposal items in accordance with the health protocol significantly more than dentists with less employment history (P = 0.04).
CONCLUSION: In general, most dentists who participated in this study observed the health protocols at good level. Dental specialists observed most of the requirements more than general dentists.