Pandemic Contraction during COVID19 Among Dental Healthcare



Coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) brought on by extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Given the speedy unfold of the illness worldwide, it was declared a pandemic by World Well being Group (WHO) in March 2020.1,2 The direct mode of transmission of the virus is attributable to transmission by way of inhalation of droplets launched within the atmosphere by contaminated people whereas respiratory, talking, coughing or sneezing.3 Furthermore, contact transmission can happen in people by touching contaminated surfaces after which touching their very own eyes, nostril or mouth.2,4

Dental healthcare employees (DHCWs) are at an elevated danger of contracting COVID-19 an infection resulting from steady publicity to saliva, blood and aerosols generated throughout routine dental procedures.5 The procedures recognized as aerosol-generating procedures (AGP) are those involving using high-speed handpieces, 3-in-1 syringes, powered (sonic/ultrasonic) scalers and sluggish pace handpieces.6 Most procedures carried out within the Division of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics require using high-speed handpieces which have been discovered to trigger most aerosol era in a dental arrange.7

WHO launched interim steering recommending that each one routine dental procedures be delayed till the transmission charges of COVID-19 diminished from neighborhood transmission to cluster circumstances and till the chance of transmission of the virus in a dental set-up will be successfully analyzed and evaluated.8 In India, a nationwide lockdown was applied on twenty fourth March 2020, adopted by unlocking in a sequential method.9 Most dental hospitals and personal dental clinics remained shut throughout the lockdown interval. The Nair Hospital Dental School which is run by the Municipal Company of Better Mumbai (MCGM), was among the many few dental hospitals in India offering therapy to sufferers all through the COVID interval.

Regardless of the implementation of an infection management measures, there was widespread apprehension amongst dental healthcare employees in finishing up routine dental procedures as a result of elevated danger of publicity to COVID-19, as most of them are AGPs. Thus, analysing the effectiveness of an infection management methods by evaluating the unfold of COVID-19 an infection in a dental hospital will help scale back the anxiousness related to dental therapy throughout the pandemic amongst sufferers and oral healthcare employees. This was finished by conducting a retrospective examine on the variety of dental healthcare employees that examined constructive for COVID-19 whereas working within the Division of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Nair Hospital Dental School over one yr. The present retrospective examine included the school, postgraduate college students, nursing workers, servants, and clerks who have been in touch with sufferers. Undergraduate college students of third and fourth years and interns have been excluded from the examine since they’re posted in numerous departments on a month-to-month rotating foundation, and therefore the prevalence of an infection in them couldn’t be attributed to working in a specific division.

The purpose of the examine is to search out out whether or not healthcare employees rendering therapy to sufferers within the division of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics whereas following the suggested security measures are being contaminated with COVID-19 thereby evaluating the chance to dental healthcare employees and the effectivity of healthcare employees.

Supplies and Strategies

Examine Setting

Nair Hospital Dental School, which is a Mumbai-based built-in well being care establishment whereby detailed and elaborative dental well being care data of every affected person throughout all dental care settings (for instance, outpatient, inpatient, and emergency division) are maintained systematically. Every affected person is assigned a singular medical report quantity in order that all the knowledge of the affected person is linked throughout all dental care features.

Examine Design and Sufferers

A retrospective cohort evaluation was carried out on healthcare employees who examined constructive whereas rendering therapy to sufferers who reported to the Division of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics from March 2020 to March 2021.

Information Sources

The Nair Hospital Dental School database, Mumbai, proved to be very instrumental in acquiring detailed data. The database accommodates data for inpatient and outpatient visits at Nair Hospital Dental School, Mumbai, together with different knowledge comparable to demographic traits, medicines and laboratory assessments. Every affected person was subjected to an intensive examination of their physique temperature, pulse charge, oxygen saturation and journey historical past because the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The chief complaints of the sufferers in addition to the radiographs taken have been additionally recorded and saved within the database of the hospital. The gathering of knowledge and its analysis was finished by P.Okay.V and O.S. The coverage of the hospital is to report the information and hyperlink it with distinctive Aadhar card variety of the affected person.

Moral Approval

Moral approval for the execution of the descriptive evaluation was obtained primarily based on the Declaration of Helsinki from the Ethics committee, Nair Hospital Dental School, Mumbai, Maharashtra India, with moral approval code EC-ND-159/Cons/102 ND/2021. Permission for the challenge was additionally obtained from the principal and head of the division.

Statistical Evaluation

The information was entered and analyzed utilizing the IBM SPSS Statistics for Home windows, Model 26.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp (SPSS, Inc. Chicago, IL, USA). A descriptive retrospective evaluation.


The interval evaluated for the evaluation was between March 2020 to March 2021. The whole variety of sufferers visiting the Conservative dentistry and Endodontics division throughout the evaluated interval was 18,058. The dentists accountable for their therapy consisted of 9 workers and 9 postgraduate college students. Additionally, these in direct contact with the sufferers have been 3 nursing workers, 1 clerical workers, and 4 non-teaching (servant). The whole lockdown consisted of March, April and Might 2020, for which sufferers reported therapy (Table 1).

Desk 1 The Pooled Information of the Sufferers Who Visited Nair Hospital Dental School Had been Referred to the Division of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics

Out of 18,058 sufferers reporting to division of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics all through one yr (March 2020 to March 2021), 74 sufferers with a chief grievance about endodontic therapy gave constructive affirmation of COVID-19 signs on the triage on the entrance and have been referred for Nasal Fast Antigen Take a look at (RAT). A complete of 20 sufferers didn’t report again to the hospital with a detrimental RAT take a look at, and by telephonic tracing and communication, they have been discovered to be constructive and have been prescribed for RT-PCR take a look at, which was additionally discovered constructive. The remaining 54 sufferers supplied a detrimental RAT report and have been allowed additional dental therapy. The therapy was carried out beneath the rules given by Indian Dental Affiliation (IDA) and American Dental Affiliation (ADA) which have been in efficient because the begin of COVID-19 pandemic.

A complete of 26 dental healthcare employees (DHCWs) rendered their providers to the Conservative dentistry and Endodontics division. The 26 DHCWs have been divided as school, postgraduate college students, nursing workers, servants and clerks. The college had scientific expertise ranging between 6 and 29 years, whereas the postgraduate college students had accomplished their undergraduate course. Throughout the evaluated interval, 9 (34.6%) out of 26 have been examined constructive. Always, the DHCWs caught to the COVID-19 tips proposed (Table 2).

Desk 2 Whole Variety of DHCWs and These Who Examined Optimistic Throughout the Assessed Yr


The Nair Hospital Dental School skilled a drastic decline within the variety of sufferers looking for dental therapy after a lockdown was declared in India on twenty fourth March 2020 for 21 days.10 Round this time, the full variety of circumstances of confirmed COVID-19 an infection in India was 564 and globally, greater than 334,000 had been contaminated. As a result of drastic rise within the charge of an infection worldwide and India, the lockdown was prolonged thrice till thirty first Might 2020 (Figure 1).

Determine 1 Charge of an infection worldwide (blue) and India (Orange) by way of March 2020 till March 2021.

By the primary week of April 2020, greater than 890,000 circumstances and over 45,000 deaths had been reported worldwide.11 The demise toll in India had reached 200, with Maharashtra being the worst affected state within the nation.12 All through the lockdown interval, the affected person influx in Nair Hospital Dental School was minimal, most likely resulting from stringent journey restrictions and worry of transmission of an infection amongst sufferers throughout dental therapy. On tenth June 2020, for the primary time, the variety of circumstances that had recovered from COVID-19 an infection exceeded the variety of energetic circumstances reported in India, following which new circumstances of the an infection reported per day started to drop steadily.13

Concurrently, there was a gradual discount within the unfold of an infection in Maharashtra and Mumbai, which was indicated by fewer new circumstances confirmed every day. In correlation to unlocking on 1st June 2020, the variety of sufferers visiting Nair Hospital Dental School elevated considerably (Figure 2). This might end result from the relief of restrictions applied by the state in all areas besides the containment zones and the reducing pattern of worry amongst individuals. Each day circumstances reported in India peaked round mid-September 2020 however dropped in January 2021. Nonetheless, this didn’t have an effect on the rise in affected person influx, which rose to over 4000 sufferers by March 2021, the identical month the second wave of COVID-19 started in India.

Determine 2 Charge of an infection worldwide (blue), India (Orange), and sufferers these visiting Nair Hospital Dental School (gray) by way of March 2020 till March 2021.

In an advisory launched by the Dental Council of India on sixteenth April 2020, dentists nationwide have been urged to supply solely emergency dental therapy to restrict the unfold of an infection.14 Dental circumstances requiring speedy care embody uncontrolled bleeding, intraoral or extraoral swelling that could be obstructing the airway or have systemic results and extreme trauma.15,16 Whereas most non-public dental clinics all through Mumbai remained shut, Nair Hospital Dental School was open for emergency dental procedures. The pattern of restrictions in finishing up dental procedures was seen not simply in India but additionally in different international locations comparable to China and Italy.17 In a examine performed within the division of Prosthodontics on the Wuhan College they talked about that solely emergency procedures have been carried out within the division throughout the first few months of the pandemic. Non-emergency circumstances have been catered to by way of phone and on-line platform. Ultimately previous to resumption of routine procedures within the division, all healthcare employees underwent in depth coaching pertaining to using private protecting tools and different security measures.17

A survey involving over 200 periodontists from the US and Brazil make clear the pressure on dentists together with the monetary burden induced as a result of intense security protocol together with using private protecting tools along with diminished variety of sufferers and dealing hours.18

Covid-19 additionally led to a extreme psychological burden on healthcare employees worldwide. A survey performed in Pakistan reported that 82.4% of the contributors together with dentists, dental assistants and hygienists have been affected by stress and anxiousness resulting from impression of the pandemic. Furthermore, 52% of the contributors weren’t keen to proceed rendering dental therapy to sufferers as a result of related danger of publicity.19 One other examine carried out in Saudi Arabia confirmed that scientific healthcare employees have been beneath greater stress and have been extra anxious about contracting the virus and spreading it these round them, specifically their kids, than the non-clinical oral healthcare employees. Nonetheless, a lot of the healthcare employees belonging to each teams have been nicely conscious of the chance of an infection and ready to adapt the required security measures.20

So far, because the outbreak of the pandemic, utmost significance has been given to strictly following a number of precautionary measures instructed by varied authorities such because the American Dental Affiliation (ADA), the Indian Endodontic Society (IES) and the Indian Dental Affiliation (IDA) to regulate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 throughout dental procedures at Nair Hospital Dental School.20,21

Each affected person visiting Nair Hospital Dental faculty was completely screened at triage for any signs of COVID-19 an infection, as soon as on the entrance of the hospital and as soon as within the Division of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics. The triage included checking the affected person’s physique temperature, pulse, and oxygen saturation utilizing an infrared thermometer and pulse oximeter. This was adopted by enquiring concerning the historical past of signs like fever, cough, sore throat, dyspnoea or lack of sense of scent or style. Sufferers have been additionally requested whether or not they had contracted COVID-19 an infection earlier than or had been uncovered to any contaminated people to rule out the presence of energetic an infection of COVID-19. In line with the Centres for Illness Management and Prevention, any affected person with an energetic COVID-19 an infection should not be handled in a dental setting.22 If a affected person confirmed any signs or answered affirmatively to the questions talked about above, they have been instantly referred to Topiwala Nationwide Medical School and B.Y.L. Nair Charitable Hospital for Fast Antigen Testing (RAT). RAT, a kind of lateral movement immunoassay referred to as an immunochromatographic take a look at, detects viral proteins within the specimen.23,24 The spike (S) protein and the nucleocapsid (N) proteins of SARS-CoV-2 are extremely immunogenic. This immunologic technique of testing includes particular antibodies to bind with antigens to verify their presence or absence. Interpretation of take a look at outcomes is made by observing the looks of color strips and therefore will be rapidly finished with the bare eye. Different benefits related to using RAT have been their fast execution and well timed outcomes.25,26

Out of the 74 sufferers despatched for testing by the Division of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics consultant after displaying signs or reporting publicity to COVID-19 an infection on the triage, 50 returned with a detrimental RAT report. The remaining 20 have been contacted by way of telecommunication, and so they knowledgeable that their RAT report was constructive, which was confirmed with Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Response (RT-PCR) Take a look at. RT-PCR assessments are sometimes thought-about the gold normal for diagnosing COVID-19 an infection resulting from their excessive specificity and sensitivity.27,28 The polymerase chain response is an enzymatic method to amplify minute portions of genetic materials and acquire adequate specimens for laboratory evaluation. The viral RNA sequence is transferred onto cDNA by reverse transcription. A number of copies of the gene sequence situated by a primer are made utilizing DNA polymerase, adopted by their detection utilizing gel visualisation and sequencing.29,30 Therefore by stopping contact between these COVID-positive sufferers and the dentists, screening at triage proved efficient in lowering SARS-CoV-2 transmission within the division. Aerosol particles generated throughout dental procedures are suspected to be a doable route of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.6

SARS-CoV-2 an infection predominantly happens by way of airborne droplets of infectious respiratory fluids that could be inhaled or settled on mucous membranes. Thus, using acceptable private protecting tools is important for shielding ocular, nasal and oral mucosa.31,32 College, postgraduate college students, nursing workers, servants and clerks coping with sufferers donned private protecting tools comprising disposable robe, protecting eyewear, head cap, N-95 facemask, face defend, two pairs of gloves and shoe covers. The sufferers have been strictly prohibited from getting into the hospital premises with out masks. The seating association within the ready space was modified to make sure social distancing of about 6 ft amongst sufferers. A pre-operative mouth rinse with antimicrobial mouthwash containing oxidative brokers comparable to 1% hydrogen peroxide or 0.2% povidone is believed to considerably scale back the viral load within the oral cavity.33,34 Thus, sufferers have been instructed to rinse utilizing povidone-iodine resolution earlier than beginning any dental process.

Research have indicated that SARS-CoV-2 can survive as much as 3 hours in aerosols and as much as 48 and 72 hours on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces, respectively.35 Thus, to forestall nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2, all probably contaminated surfaces and devices should be disinfected and sterilized.36 Disinfection of probably contaminated surfaces comparable to dental chairs by spraying 0.1% sodium hypochlorite resolution was finished after each affected person. Sterilization of devices used within the oral cavity was finished utilizing a category B autoclave. They include a vacuum pump to take away contaminated air contained in the chamber, create detrimental strain and drive steam entry. Therefore, they can be utilized for the sterilization of stable and porous objects.37 Sound pure and mechanical air flow inside the dental operatory are additionally required to clear contaminated aerosols. Due to this fact, following the Nationwide Centre for Illness Management tips, the Division of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics was nicely ventilated with quite a few home windows, doorways, and exhaust followers to facilitate air circulation.38 Along with that, Excessive-Effectivity Particulate Air (HEPA) filters have been used to cut back the variety of virus-containing aerosols within the atmosphere. Furthermore, fumigation of all the division is carried out day-after-day.

Dental healthcare employees (DHCP) have been suggested to endure a reverse transcription-polymerase chain response (RT-PCR) take a look at in the event that they suspected publicity to SARS-CoV-2 to forestall the unfold of an infection to sufferers. A complete of 26 dental healthcare personnel, together with 9 dentists, 3 nursing workers, 9 postgraduate college students, 4 servants and 1 clerk, have been accountable for rendering therapy to the 18,058 sufferers handled within the division all year long. The therapy modalities concerned root canal therapy and apicoectomy, endodontic surgical procedures, bleaching of discoloured enamel, administration of dental trauma, inlays, onlays and short-term and everlasting restorations. Interns and undergraduate college students have been additionally concerned in treating sufferers within the division. Nonetheless, they weren’t included within the examine since they have been posted in numerous departments finishing up completely different sorts of procedures with a variable quantity of aerosol era on a month-to-month rotary foundation and therefore the prevalence of COVID-19 an infection couldn’t be immediately attributed to transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within the Division of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics.

Amongst these, 3 school, 3 postgraduate college students and a pair of servants and a clerk examined constructive, summing as much as 9 healthcare employees. One of many school who examined constructive for COVID-19 an infection had signs comparable to sore throat, chilly, cough, lack of sense of scent and style. He/She spent lengthy hours coping with sufferers at triage from 9 am by way of 4 pm day-after-day. Thus, it may be deduced that the healthcare employee may have contracted COVID-19 an infection resulting from transmission of the virus within the division. One other contributing issue of their case may have been uncovered throughout travelling to and from their home (in Virar) to the hospital (at Mumbai Central) at a distance of 75 kilometres, necessitating a journey time of 1 hour twenty-one minutes in native trains day by day. The opposite dentist had been uncovered whereas travelling with a person who had additional been uncovered to an contaminated particular person. The third one had just lately travelled to his native place in mid-September 2020. Round 9000 energetic circumstances have been reported in that district, indicating that the journey historical past may have been accountable for SARS-CoV-2 an infection.39 Following the constructive take a look at outcomes for 3 school members, the remaining six school members underwent COVID-19 antibody testing to verify for publicity and examined detrimental. Two postgraduate college students have been symptomatic, resulting from which they bought an RT-PCR take a look at finished and have been examined constructive. Since all postgraduate college students had been in shut contact, they voluntarily bought examined, following which one other pupil who had been asymptomatic turned out to have contracted the virus. Prevalence of COVID-19 an infection in postgraduate college students could possibly be related to working within the division as their journey was restricted to the hospital and the hostel. The servants and the clerk who examined constructive with SARS-CoV-2 an infection confirmed cough, headache and physique ache. Their an infection couldn’t be attributed solely to working within the Division of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics as they’d been working in COVID-19 wards arrange in Nair Hospital Dental School.

A examine evaluating the impression of the pandemic on the division of maxillofacial surgical procedure in 23 surgical items all through Italy famous the incidence of COVID-19 an infection amongst 4% of maxillofacial surgeons and 22% of the residents regardless of vital discount within the variety of procedures that have been carried out, specifically within the first month of the pandemic. Nonetheless, it’s essential to say that they reported an acute scarcity of private protecting tools with solely 61% of the maxillofacial departments accessing N95 masks for finishing up surgical procedures. This could possibly be one of many main contributing elements within the unfold of an infection amongst surgeons and residents.40

An analogous examine was performed in China to evaluate the effectivity of prevention methods adopted in a dental hospital throughout three months of lockdown. The methods included guaranteeing that sufferers made dental appointments prematurely by way of phone or web to keep away from overcrowding, instructing them to comply with cough etiquette and put on face masks correctly always and implementation of right utilization of private protecting tools and hand hygiene strategies by the dentists and nurses. They discovered that the an infection management strategies have been efficient in stopping unfold of COVID-19 amongst dental healthcare employees.41 A two-month lengthy examine was carried out in an Italian faculty of dentistry suggesting methods for administration of workload in a dental arrange specializing in evaluation of sufferers, administration of dental procedures in two phases and controlling unfold by way of devices and atmosphere.42 Precautionary strategies akin to these noticed within the present examine involving triage, social distancing, utilizing hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse previous to therapy, donning and doffing of private protecting tools in an acceptable method and post-treatment sterilization and disinfection of devices in addition to the dental unit have been additionally discovered to be efficient in a examine performed within the division of Conservative dentistry and Periodontology in a dental hospital in Munich.43 To one of the best of the writer’s data, that is the primary examine performed to guage the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 an infection amongst healthcare employees in a dental hospital in India.

It’s instructed that these precautionary measures should be undertaken by dental practitioners even after vaccination as a result of quickly mutating nature of the virus giving rise to the looks of newer strains. Hand hygiene practices and carrying masks should be continued till the COVID-19 pandemic is totally over for certain. Along with the security measures talked about above, sure new strategies may also be adopted to fight the unfold of an infection extra effectively comparable to set up of services geared up with airborne isolation transmission by way of aerosols (AIIRS) for therapy of sufferers suspected to be contaminated.33

To one of the best of the writer’s data, that is the primary examine performed to guage the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 an infection amongst healthcare employees in a dental hospital in India.

Limitations in This Examine

Danger of publicity exterior the division comparable to at dwelling or different locations visited by the healthcare employees can’t be effectively monitored and thus it serves as a limitation of the present examine. Additionally, aerosol producing procedures carried out in different departments of Nair Hospital Dental School weren’t included within the examine.


As a consequence, whereas 9 healthcare professionals within the Division of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics contaminated the SARS-CoV-2 virus, solely 4 of them could possibly be traced to dissemination within the division. The rest victims have been almost definitely impacted by exterior origins, suggesting that the preventative measures applied within the division for stopping an infection throughout the outbreak have been competent for sustaining a low charge of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in a dentistry setting.


RAT, Fast antigen take a look at; RT-PCR, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Response; COVID-19, Coronavirus illness 2019; SARS-CoV-2, extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; DHCWs, Dental healthcare employees; AGP, Aerosol-generating procedures; MCGM, Municipal company of higher Mumbai; SPSS, Statistical package deal for social sciences.

Information Sharing Assertion

The datasets used and/or analyzed throughout the present examine can be found from the corresponding authors on affordable request.

Ethics and Consent

The examine was performed in response to the rules of the Declaration of Helsinki and accredited by the Ethics committee, Nair Hospital Dental School, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India with the Ethics approval code (EC-ND-159/Cons/102 ND/2021). Knowledgeable consent was waived by the Institutional Evaluate Board Nair Hospital Dental School, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India resulting from retrospective nature of the examine. Moreover, the sufferers signal a normal consent earlier than any therapy or investigation is rendered which features a consent to make use of the findings in future retrospective research with none private identification.


This analysis was supported by Taif College Researchers assist challenge Quantity (TURSP-2020/62), Taif College, P.O. Field-11099, Taif, 21944, Saudi Arabia.

Creator Contributions

All authors made a big contribution to the work reported, whether or not that’s within the conception, examine design, execution, acquisition of knowledge, evaluation and interpretation, or in all these areas; took half in drafting, revising or critically reviewing the article; gave remaining approval of the model to be printed; have agreed on the journal to which the article has been submitted; and agreed to be accountable for all features of the work.


The authors declare no conflicts of curiosity in relation to this work.


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