Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on pediatric dentistry treatment procedures
Keywords:COVID-19 pandemic, dental treatment, pediatric dentistry, retrospective study
Aim: The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has forced pediatric dentistry to limit clinical procedures due to children’s role in spread of the virus and transmission routes in pediatric patients. In order to minimize contamination and cross-infection risk, dental examinations and treatments had been postponed and patient admission protocols rearranged. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of pandemic on the number of patients admitted and treated in the pediatric dentistry clinic of a university hospital in the one-year period following the March 2020 global pandemic declaration.
Methodology: The study included pediatric patients aged 0-14 years admitted to a pediatric dentistry clinic of a faculty of dentistry between March 2019 and March 2021 in order to compare and make a retrospective evaluation of the one-year time intervals before and after the pandemic announcement in March 2020. Children were divided into the age groups 2-6 and 7-14. Evaluation parameters were chosen as examination, radiograph (panoramic and periapical), fissure sealing or topical fluoride application, compomer, composite filling, pulpotomy, root canal treatment, prefabricated crown, tooth extraction, and space maintainer.
Results: The results of the study showed a statistically significant decrease in monthly average number of examinations after the declaration of the pandemic regardless of age and gender (p<0.001). In both age groups, there is a proportional decrease in pulpotomy, composite filling, fissure sealant or topical fluoride application, root canal treatment, compomer filling, prefabricated crown procedures during the pandemic compared to the pre-pandemic, while the number of filming procedures increased proportionally (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Dental clinicians were advised to take on more radical treatment options during the pandemic. Further studies are needed to examine the effects of the statistical decrease in the number of procedures in the field of pediatric dentistry and treatment services on long-term community oral health.
How to cite this article: Yüksel BN, Bezgin T. Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on pediatric dentistry treatment procedures. Int Dent Res 2021;11(3):140-8. https://doi.org/10.5577/intdentres.2021.vol11.no3.2
Linguistic Revision: The English in this manuscript has been checked by at least two professional editors, both native speakers of English.