Pandemic preparedness of dentists against coronavirus disease: A Saudi Arabian experience.PLoS One. 2020; 15(8):e0237630.Plos
Dental offices are among the highest risk for transmission of the COVID-19, having the potential to transmit the virus via routine dental procedures. This cross-sectional study assessed the preparedness and perception of infection control measures against the COVID-19 pandemic by dentists in Saudi Arabia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This online survey addressed the impact and perception of the COVID-19 pandemic on dental practice in Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire comprised 26 closed-ended questions. Descriptive statistics included frequency distributions with percentages. In addition, the significance between the different demographic variables and questions about dentists' perception of the COVID-19 pandemic was tested using the Chi-square test.
COVID-19 management in dental clinics varied in terms of adherence to the Ministry of Health (MOH) guidelines. Dental clinics' screening questionnaire for patients showed good adherence (67%), while the lowest agreement was detected with the question on the existence of an airborne infection in the isolation room (15%). Almost two-thirds of the respondents agreed that the dental reception area adopted the proper COVID-19 preventive measures. Greatest accord was observed in their answers on questions about dentists' perception of the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from 64%-89%. In addition, there were statistically significant differences in questions about the perception of dentists towards the COVID-19 pandemic by different demographic variables such as age and years of work experience (p < 0.05).
The response of most dentists regarding the preparedness and perception of infection control measures against the COVID-19 pandemic was positive. Dental clinics need to adhere more to the MOH recommendations in preparedness of their facilities or by educating their dentists and staff.