2Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, PGIDS, Rohtak, Haryana, India
3Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, SCB Dental College, Cuttack, Odisha, India
4Department of Health, Medical Education and Family Welfare, Subdivisional Hospital, Bundu, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
The current novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV 2), better known as COVID 19, has gripped the entire international community and caused widespread public health concern. It is zoonotic, with Chinese horseshoe bats being the origin with pangolins as a probable intermediate host. The first reported patient was probably in a wet market in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Following this single animal to human transmission, the COVID 19 has been spread by human to human contact. It is a novel virus which is distinct from SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, primarily transmitted through droplet spread or contact routes. Due to the inherent characteristics of dental settings and aerosol involvement, dentists, auxiliaries, and patients undergoing dental procedures are at high risk of cross-infection. Most dental procedures require close contact with the patient's oral cavity, saliva, blood, and respiratory tract secretions. Dental professionals may encounter patients with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and will have to act diligently not only to provide care but at the same time prevent nosocomial spread of infection.
The aim of the present article is to provide a brief overview of the structure, epidemiology, and clinical manifestations of the novel coronavirus. In addition, specific recommendations for the dental practice are suggested for patient screening, infection control strategies, emergency dental care, and patient management protocol to control the spread of the disease and ensure the safety of the dental health care professionals, their team as well as the patients during the current ongoing pandemic.