Comparison of the use of personal protective equipment and infection control in dentists and their assistants before and after the corona crisis

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J Educ Health Promot. 2021 Jun 30;10:206. doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_1220_20. eCollection 2021.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 is a new viral outbreak in the world. Dentists and their assistants are at greatest risk of exposure to the virus, due to close contact with patients and dealing with aerosols. Hence, the aim of this study was to compare the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplementary protective equipment (SPE) and observance of the principles of infection control (PIC) in dentists and their assistants before and after the corona crisis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted using an online survey from May 6 to 20, 2020. Convenience sampling was used to select individuals. The questionnaire, consisting of four general categories about the use of PPE and SPE and the observance of PIC by dentists and their assistants before and after corona crisis, was registered at Porsline website (https://survey.porsline.ir/s/KUt7VQB). Frequencies in each subcategory were calculated and comparisons were done using Chi-square test, Fisher’s exact test, and paired sample t-test. A P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

RESULTS: There were significant differences in the frequency of use of PPE by dentists before and after corona crisis for oral and dental examination and also dental procedures (P < 0.001). There were significant differences in the frequency of use of SPE and observance of PIC before and after corona crisis, except for different types of suction types (P = 0.22), dental handpiece (P = 0.66), and dental unit (P = 1). There were significant differences in the frequency of use of PPE by dental assistants before and after corona crisis (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Although the frequency of use of PPE and observance of PIC increased among dentists and their assistants, this increase is not sufficient, especially for dental assistants, and a higher level of use of PPE and PIC observance in face of highly contagious and life-threatening viruses such as corona is required.

PMID:34395643 | PMC:PMC8318191 | DOI:10.4103/jehp.jehp_1220_20