Returning to the orthodontic practice amid COVID-19 crisis
Background The coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by the novel severe acute respiratory virus syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2, was defined as pandemic on March 11, 2020. All health care providers are at risk of a COVID-19 infection; however, dentists pose the highest risk since SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted through breathing and aerosol, coughing and droplets and direct or indirect contact with infected skin and surfaces. Guidelines for minimizing the risk of transmission in general dental clinics have been published and are regularly updated.
Objective The present article aims to specifically address the concerns of the orthodontic profession amid the COVID-19 crisis, and suggest recommendations for orthodontic care settings, infection prevention measures and delivery of clinical procedures.
Data Sources An electronic search was conducted via PubMed/MEDLINE, Google and health organization websites from two independent data abstractors.
Study Selection All kinds of manuscripts describing guidelines for health care providers to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic were included. No language restrictions were considered. Any disagreements on study inclusion were resolved by discussion between the two reviewers.
Data Extraction Information on guidelines and suggestions on the management of clinical orthodontic practice were extracted from studies identified for inclusion in the review.
Data Synthesis Orthodontists are at a very high risk for COVID-19 infection and all published guidelines should be followed for the patient and DHCPs safety. The care settings, the infection protocols, and the delivery of AGP clinical procedures must be continuously revised and modified to overcome the threat of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in the orthodontic practice.
COVID-19; Saliva; Aerosol; Orthodontists; Clinical Practice.