Citation Information :
Goswami M, Gogia M. From Lockdown to Slow Release: Pediatric Dental Services during COVID-19 Pandemic—Emergency Preparedness and Impact on Future. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2021; 14 (3):398-402.
Introduction: The emergence of novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to global pandemic raising significant challenges to the healthcare professionals due to its high transmission rate via droplet spread or direct contact. Pediatric dentists play an important role in the healthcare system by managing dental emergencies in children while taking special measures to practice universal infection control in this COVID-19 pandemic. However, data are limited pertaining to the prevalence, etiology, and treatment provided to children at pediatric dental emergency services during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
Aim and objective: To assess the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period on Pediatric Dental Emergency Services.
Materials and methods: A retrospective study was conducted using data of patients aged 0–14 years who visited the Pediatric Dental Emergency Services, during the COVID-19 lockdown period from March 23, 2020, to August 31, 2020. Information regarding age, gender, time of presentation, chief complaint, and treatment were collected and analyzed.
Results: This study revealed that dental emergencies in the pediatric dental services were predominantly related to dental pain (54.49%) followed by an abscess (12.35%), traumatic dental injuries (8.42%), and swelling (8.42%). A 5-year-old was the most prevalent age-group who reported dental emergencies.
Conclusion: Dental pain was the most common chief complaint of patients reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the recent state of affairs obligates the need to strike a balance between the safety of the healthcare professionals and providing optimum dental care to the patients requiring emergency intervention. While dental emergencies are unforeseeable, increasing community awareness about proper at-home care routines and utilizing regular dental preventive measures can potentially reduce the number of emergency visits.
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