Tele-Screening, Triaging of Dental Patients, and Reopening of Dental Services During SAR-CoV2 Pandemic


Background: The nature of dental profession requires a dentist to be in a close proximity to the patient’s mouth to perform various operative treatments including procedures such as generating aerosols. As such, dentistry is considered as one of the riskiest profession for the cross-transmission of SARS-CoV2. Although the prevalence and incidence of SARS-CoV2 continue to increase worldwide; the dental services and treatment of non-emergency cases have resumed in many countries including Sudan. Moreover, the use of smartphone technology in communication with patients can play an important role in controlling the spread of SARS-CoV2. Therefore, the aim of this short review was to draw a summary on using smartphone technology for telescreening dental patients prior to their visit to the clinics and to set guidelines and rules for dental treatment during SARS-CoV2 pandemic.

Methods:  For the purpose of this study, telescreening is referred as a virtual contact between patients and healthcare personnel used to provide health services during the highly contiguous SARS-CoV2 pandemic. Using a smartphone, dental patients can be screened and questioned about their medical history and particularly for SARS-CoV2 (for symptoms such as fever, headache, coughing, breath shortness, loss of smell or taste). They should also be asked about their travel history to epidemic area, visiting hospital or coming in contact with a confirmed SARS-CoV2 patient during the last 14 days. On arrival to a dental clinic, the patient's temperature should be measured, instruction for wearing masks, hand hygiene, and keeping distances from others inside the waiting zone.

Conclusion: Telescreening and triaging will minimize the time of patients’ exposure to dental clinic environments, hence decreasing the risk of getting SARS-CoV2 infection for both patients and dental healthcare workers. 

Keywords: COVID-19, dentistry, procedure generating aerosols, smartphone, social distance, surgical masks.

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