Malaysia: Due to the coronavirus crisis, clinical practices all around the world are disturbed. It is essential to discuss the improvement in oral health and clinical practices to maintain the quality of prevention and care in global dentistry.
Referring to the current situation of COVID-19, the International College of Dentists (ICD) Section XV hosted a live session on Zoom on the topic ‘Steering oral health profession through COVID-19: How to maintain the course towards a global vision.’
The moderator for the event was Dato’Dr How Kim Chuan, President ICD Section XV.
The guest speaker for the event was Dr Gerhard Konard Seeberger. President FDI World Dental Federation, President of Academy of Dentistry International, Author, Co-author and peer reviewer in Italian and international journals, Past-speaker at FDI General Assembly, Committee member in Italian minister of Health.
The panellists of the webinar included Prof. Dr Bedros Yavru Sakuk, New York University, College of Dentistry, Board Member of the European Regional Organization, and former Vice-Chairman of “Dental Practice Committee” in FDI, Dr Oliver Hennedige, Secretary-General of Asia Pacific Dental Federation (APDF) and APRO (Aerial Phenomena Research Organization), Executive Director of ICCDE ( International College of Continuing Dental Education ), Prof. Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abu Hassan, Council Member of the Malaysian Dental Council, Chairman of Dental Deans Council of Malaysian Dental School and Prof Dr Arshad Mahmood Malik. Principal/ Dean HBS Dental College, Professor, Postgraduate Guide Supervisor, Examiner & Paper Setter. President Emeritus, Regent and Fellow Pakistan society of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery.
Dr Gerhard Konard covered various points in his presentation, including safe clinical practice for patients and the dental team. He highlighted the oral health improvement of people in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Konrad said that the maintenance of the quality of prevention and care in dentistry globally should be the utmost priority. He said that the economic changes in the post-COVID-19 would have its effect on dental practices and beyond.
Dr Konard stated that “All over the world, we are reacting in the best manner to downsize the spread of the virus.”
Dr Gerhard mentioned, “We are still learning about this virus from different countries’ experiences. And we shall not waste time waiting for the vaccine because we don’t know how long it will take. We should stay calm, use common sense, and opt for personal and social hygiene.”
Dr Gerhard highlighted, “FDI has set up COVID-19 library with all the factsheets in multiple languages.”
Moreover, he mentioned that dental professionals should seek guidance either from FDI, ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control), WHO (World Health Organisation), or NDA (National Dental Association) regarding coronavirus. He discussed the use of different masks, including N95, surgical and facemask FFP3.
“Dentists need to discuss and refer to experts in maintaining and re-establishing oral health and must emphasize their gatekeeping function in medicine to decrease the burden of non-communicable and communicable disease,” Dr Gerhard Konard Seeberger.
Dr Konard suggested some guidelines for oral health experts regarding the triage on the phone before treatment, reception of patients in dental practice, and on-site and information on risks of COVID-19 and patient consensus. He also said that operator protection of the respiratory tract, eyes, body, hands, and treatment protocols must be followed.