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PHC Advisory offers a glimmer of hope for Dentists

LAHORE: Punjab Healthcare Commission has issued a fresh advisory to the dental practitioners across the province to adopt maximum precautionary measures in their clinics.

The PHC directed the dental surgeons to make a plan visits of their patients in such a way that there should not be over-crowding, and also display coronavirus related information at their clinics. The patient should not come with more than one attendant.

Moreover, dental surgeons have been asked to encourage their patients not to visit clinics unless there is an unavoidable emergency. They have been asked to avoid intra oral X-rays as much as possible.

Besides keeping their hygiene at best and ensuring the availability of disinfectants, antiseptics, sanitisers, and soap for handwashing, the dental practitioners and their staff must use personal protective equipment, including latex gloves, face mask (preferably N95), goggles, disposable gowns, disposable caps, etc.

Step by step measures to be taken by general dental practitioners in the light of advisory issued by Punjab Health care commission to dental practitioners across province to adopt maximum precautionary measures in their clinics.

  • Make Appointment Plan to avoid walk-ins.
  • Display Corona Virus Information.
  • Encourage patients to avoid dental visit unless emergency. 
  • Avoid Intra-Oral X – Rays.
  • Use Disinfectant, Antiseptics, Sanitizers and use of soap extensively 
  • Use of disposable Diagnostic Sets, Suction Tips and Napkins.
  • Use of Infection Barrier Tapes.
  • Use of Disinfectant on Dental Unit, Spit-on and All Surfaces.
  • Sterilization of Instruments Tray after every patient.
  • Wear personal protection equipment and only use: 
  • Disposable Gloves, Face Masks (N95), Gown and Caps.

However, the dental fraternity feels that since most of the dentists are not practicing these days, and with the extension in lockdown till 14th April the dental community has adopted wait and see policy for now.

However, there is also a belief amongst the community that further extension in lockdown beyond 14 April may lead to anarchy and civil disobedience as people are struggling with getting food and joblessness is at an all-time high.

With the holy month of Ramadan approaching many dentists feel that pending cases need to be addressed before that. The first day of fasting is expected on the 24th of April.

However, the community agrees that the treatment which creates aerosol is dangerous for both the patients and dentists alike. In these circumstances it is highly unlikely that patients will visit for dental treatments unless it is a case of acute pain or some other dental emergency.

DN Report

April 3, 2020

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