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South African Dental Journal

versão On-line ISSN 0375-1562
versão impressa ISSN 0011-8516


KOUTRAS, S; GOVENDER, S; WOOD, NH  e  MOTLOBA, PD. COVID-19 pandemic and the dental practice. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2020, vol.75, n.3, pp.119-125. ISSN 0375-1562.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), originating in Wuhan, China in December 2019 has become a pandemic affecting numerous countries worldwide, with over 1353 positive cases and 4 deaths confirmed in South Africa thus far. Dental practitioners are at the forefront of this outbreak through direct and contact transmission via face-to-face communication and through the generation of significant amounts of droplets and aerosols during routine dental procedures, posing potential risks of infection transmission. There are no guidelines for South African dental practitioners to follow in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper provides consolidated evidence and best practice on how to prevent and minimise the spread of infection within the dental setting through the use of a flowchart. The level of evidence provided is based on global recommendations and experience. We conclude that unless dental professionals stick to stringent infection control practices, they are likely to contribute to the spread of the COVID-19. We recommend that during this outbreak, dental professionals consider scaling down on their normal routine, and protect themselves and patients. Focus should be on the management of pain, sepsis and trauma. The epidemic will pass, and dental professionals should outlast the scourge.

Palavras-chave : Epidemic; pandemic; dentistry; COVID-19; dental professionals; SARS-CoV-2.

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