Courtesy pic: www.new-medical.net.com
As per the Union Health Ministry advisory, dental clinic will remain shut in the confinement area. But, teleconsultation can be continued and the patients who require urgent treatment can ask for ambulance facilities to travel to nearby Covid 19 dental hospitals. The Health Ministry stated that dentist and patients who are undertaking dental treatment are more vulnerable to cross-infection as most dental treatment require a close proximity with the patient’s blood, saliva and respiratory tract emission. Therefore, a lot of precaution should be implemented while treating the patient, as even an asymptomatic patient can transmit infection. Only urgent or emergency dental cure can be done in the dental services in the areas falling under “Red” zones.
Following are the guiding principle for Red Zones:
- The registration desk should have sufficient number of three-layer masks, Sanitizers and paper tissue, along with a hand hygiene stations. The waiting chairs should be kept at a distance.
- Patients should remove wristwatch, jewellery and other additional bag before entering the dental care premises. They should avoid using the toilets at the dental facility and wear mask throughout.
- The guidelines suggested that the patients should not wear a wristwatch, hand and body jewellery and carry additional accessories and bags.
- The appointments which do not require examination or result in aerosols, doctors has to wear a triple-layer surgical mask, gloves and face shield/eyewear all the time. For high risk and very high risk processes, N95 face mask to be worn by the doctors. N95 mask can be covered by a surgical mask to increase the shelf life of the same and later surgical mask can be discarded after the use.
- The doctor has to “Wear N95 face masks, protective eyewear/face shields and gloves along with coverall for high-risk and very-high-risk measures. To extend the shelf life of N95 masks, you may conceal them with a surgical mask and discard only the surgical mask after use,” the guidelines stated.
- If the patient has moderate risk, the doctor may need all PPE excluding the coveralls, that can be replaced with surgical gowns.
Guidelines for Dental facility in the “orange” and “green” zone.
- The consultancy can be provided to such patients who fall under “orange” and “green” zone but only for urgent or emergency treatment.
- The dental care workers who are asymptomatic and are not exposed to the coronavirus infection are not required to get them self-tested before they begin to work again at the clinic.
- As per the ministry advisory, if such health care workers are involved in the care of supposed or confirmed cases of Coronavirus are recommended to take HCQ prophylaxis after consulting the medical team.