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South African Dental Journal

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


ADAM, Razia Z. Re-thinking South African dentists' role in a pandemic. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2020, vol.75, n.10, pp.575-579. ISSN 0375-1562.

Mass disasters such as terrorism, earthquakes and virus outbreaks challenge any healthcare system. Response teams to disasters typically consist of health professionals, local government, corporations, and community organizations, academics and the scientific community. Dentists or dental hygienists have traditionally only played a role in the identification of victims or in the treatment of facial trauma in disaster response. In South Africa, the response was mainly driven by medical professionals. Collaborative practice supported by inter-professional education may offer a solution to assist countries struggling with access to healthcare and overburdened health systems. In addition, revisiting the dentists' role in prioritising oral health and its relationship with general health and well-being is much needed. This short article provides a perspective on the role of South African dentists' contribution to health during a pandemic.

Palavras-chave : Pandemic; disaster; collaborative practice; inter-professional education; responders; public health; dental schools; models.

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