Pandemic Was A 'Dental Disaster' Says FDI

Pandemic Was A ’Dental Disaster’ Says FDI

The President of the World Dental Federation (FDI) has called the oral health aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic ‘A dental disaster.’

Dr Gerhard Konrad Seeberger said "Restrictions have certainly played a part in oral health hesitancy, but they don’t tell the whole story.”  He added "Let’s call it for what it is—a dental disaster.”

The World Health Organisation reported that oral health services were among the most affected essential health services because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 77 per cent of countries reporting partial or complete disruption.

Cision (PR Newswire) said the World Health Organisation reported that oral health services were among the most affected essential health services because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 77 per cent of countries reporting partial or complete disruption.

A change in  routines, such as  people skipping twice-daily toothbrushing, snacking between meals at home, and not visiting the dentist were some of the factors thought to be contributing to oral health problems. 

Cision said “Between the first and second wave, dental practices in many countries were able to reopen. Dentists have always abided by the most stringent infection prevention and control protocols and have also revised hygiene measures mandated by governments during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In addition, a survey  indicates that oral health professionals have significantly lower SARS-CoV-2 infection rates than other healthcare workers in most parts of the world.

“Despite this, many people have still avoided routine check-ups and only visit the dentist once they are in extreme pain. Many have developed advanced tooth decay and related complications, including infections, which makes treatment more complex.”

The website reported that Professor Paulo Melo, an FDI Councillor who teaches and practices dentistry in Porto, Portugal has seen a dozen of high-risk patients who were afraid of being infected with COVID-19 and postponed their appointments.

“High-risk patients are encouraged to have a dental check-up every three to six months. Instead, many patients have waited nine months to a year, or more, between appointments. Many have reported severe toothaches and complications, leading to extractions for some and endodontic treatments for others.”

"During the pandemic, high-risk patients have tended to develop more than one problem, often exhibiting three or four at the same time because too much time has gone by without a check-up," said Melo. "Problems typically include caries lesions and gum disease."

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