The coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has put enormous pressure on health care systems around the world. Dentistry has had to adjust to the new epidemic situation to not only bring relief to suffering patients but also to avoid becoming a source of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Methods: A comprehensive, cross-sectional survey was conducted between April 6 and 16, 2020 among 875 Polish dental practitioners. The aim of the research was to assess dentists’ attitudes and professional approaches resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: 71.2% of dentists who responded to the questionnaire decided to suspend their clinical practice during that particular time. The main factors for this fact were the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), the respondents’ subjective perceptions of the risk of COVID-19 contraction and a general feeling of anxiety and uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 situation. The authors observed a significant decrease in the number of patients admitted weekly in April 2020 (12.06; SD, 11.55) in comparison to that in the time before the state of pandemic was declared on March 11, 2020 (49.21; SD, 24.97). Conclusions: Due to the unpreparedness of the dental sector, both in national health and private settings, most of the Polish dentists decided to voluntarily suspend their clinical practice in order to mitigate the spread of the disease. The COVID-19 outbreak has revealed numerous shortcomings in the dental care system, especially regarding the insufficient coordination of health services related to the pandemic and lack of advanced PPE. This has led to an overwhelming feeling of fear, confusion and anxiety among dental professionals in Poland and a sudden decrease in the number of performed dental procedures. Hopefully enriched with the recent experience and due to the implementation of proper strategic and long-term measures, dental practitioners will be better prepared and adapted to global health care disruptions in the future.
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