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EFP devises SARS-CoV-2 safety protocol for dental patients and practices

BRUSSELS, Belgium: The provision of oral healthcare services has been severely affected all over the world by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic because of the risk of infection for both dental professionals and patients. In order to provide the dental industry with a protocol to navigate the crisis effectively, the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) has published a set of infographics that provide suggestions on how dental practices can operate safely and manage patient workflow before, during and after treatment.

The scientific evidence related to dental management during the COVID-19 pandemic has so far been merely observational, and there are no prospectively designed interventions—to form the basis for proper evidence-based guidelines. The EFP document is based on the limited scientific literature available and on the observations and experiences of dental clinicians. It does not conflict with any guidelines issued by local and national healthcare authorities. These EFP recommendations have been coordinated by Prof. Filippo Graziani, immediate past president of the EFP and chair of the EFP European Project Committee.

“We have tried to highlight the current knowledge, basing our ideas on three different levels of strength according to the information we have on the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” explained Graziani. “For the EFP, the safety of our colleagues, co-workers, and patients worldwide is of utmost importance. Despite the relatively little knowledge that is available, we have tried to encapsulate some practical information in graphics to support the dental and periodontal world globally. Please follow your own institutions’ guidelines if any discrepancies are noted and check for changes, as knowledge on the management of the virus is changing swiftly.”

“In these uncertain days, at the time when we will probably start going back to work in many countries, the EFP felt that this initiative was necessary to offer to all our members clear guidelines and also to have a global vision of the situation and the impact of the pandemic on periodontists, dentists, and hygienists,” added Dr Xavier Struillou, president of the EFP.

The infographics illustrate protocols for patient triage, patient management in the dental office, and treatment and post-treatment routines, as well as a phone triage questionnaire with questions to ask patients when they call the dental practice to make an appointment. All the material is available for download here.

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