Special Issue "Dental Care and Oral Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic"

A special issue of Medicina (ISSN 1648-9144). This special issue belongs to the section "Dentistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 January 2022) | Viewed by 7800

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Cesare D'Amico
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences, Morphological and Functional Images, School of Dentistry, University of Messina, 98100 Messina, Italy
Interests: material science; oral health; public health; oral surgery; biomaterials
Dr. Pier Paolo Poli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Implant Center for Edentulism and Jawbone Atrophies, Maxillofacial Surgery and Odontostomatology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Interests: bone grafts; bone augmentation; bone regeneration; bone substitutes; dental implants; peri-implantitis; oral surgery

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The current SARS-Cov-2 pandemic has caused confusion in the clinical and academic world. Moreover, this emergency condition, despite the protocols that were promptly drawn up, caused delays on all fronts, related to non-urgent and postponable medical care. Even in the dental field, the emergency led to delays in treatment and the application of more stringent protocols, often ending up in postponing less urgent treatments with important consequences for the patients oral health. The goal of this Special Issue is to disseminate the knowledge regarding the current Sars-Cov-2 pandemic with related applications in the medical-dental field. Manuscripts of different types concerning this topic will be considered, both clinical studies, trials, systematic reviews, and prospective studies or proposals on new protocols or on new scientific evidence regarding the dental clinic and Sars-Cov-2 infections.

Dr. Cesare D Amico
Dr. Pier Paolo Poli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Sars-Cov-2
  • pandemic
  • oral health
  • dental office
  • medical settings
  • protocols

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Level of Anxiety Caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic among Dentists in Poland
Medicina 2022, 58(3), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58030415 - 11 Mar 2022
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: The early information on both the speed and high morbidity rate and, above all, mortality triggered the symptoms of COVID-19-related panic and anxiety. Dentists were listed in the top five professions with the highest risk of transmission of the [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The early information on both the speed and high morbidity rate and, above all, mortality triggered the symptoms of COVID-19-related panic and anxiety. Dentists were listed in the top five professions with the highest risk of transmission of the virus. The aim of the present study was to investigate the correlation between the fear level of COVID-19 and sociodemographic variables in Polish dentists. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted via an online survey questionnaire with seven statements in the COVID-19 Fear Scale (FCV-19S). The online questionnaire was completed by 356 dentists. The SPSS and PQStat were used to analyze, validate, and assess correlations and logistic regression. Results: In the studied population of dentists, the perceived level of anxiety associated with COVID-19 should be considered relatively low. When the respondents had children, lived with the elderly, or looked after them, the observed level of anxiety was higher, and physical symptoms, such as sweating palms and increased heart rate, occurred. Conclusions: Studies concerning the anxiety level related to COVID-19 carried out among Polish dentists ascertained that the tested level of anxiety among dentists was relatively low. The COVID-19 Fear Scale (FCV-19S) adjusted to the Polish language requirements is a reliable tool that can be used effectively for analyzing the impact of any pandemic on the Polish-speaking population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Care and Oral Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Article
Title Cross-Sectional Study to Evaluate Knowledge and Attitudes on Oral Hygiene of Romanian Students
Medicina 2022, 58(3), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58030406 - 09 Mar 2022
Viewed by 474
Abstract
Background and Objectives: the purpose of this study was to evaluate students’ level of knowledge and attitude towards oral hygiene. Materials and Methods: the evaluation was carried out by a questionnaire, with 30 Q (questions) as follows: demographic data (Q1–Q5), oral hygiene knowledge [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: the purpose of this study was to evaluate students’ level of knowledge and attitude towards oral hygiene. Materials and Methods: the evaluation was carried out by a questionnaire, with 30 Q (questions) as follows: demographic data (Q1–Q5), oral hygiene knowledge data (Q6–Q23) and oral hygiene attitude data (Q24–Q30). The study included students from Romanian schools and the selection of the study group was made following selection criteria in accordance with ethical issues. A descriptive statistical analysis was performed and a value of p ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: the study included a number of 718 subjects with a mean age of 14.54 (±2.22), male 250 (34.8%) and female 468 (65.2%), MS (middle school students) 354 (49.4%) and HH (high school students) 364 (50.6%). Most of the subjects 292 (MS = 160; HS = 132) know a toothbrushing technique, p = 0.009, r = 0.091 and 587 (MS = 278; HS = 309) know that brushing removes the bacterial plaque p = 0.027, r = −0.082 but only 147 (MS = 71; HS = 76) know that (by) brushing can re-mineralize hard dental structures. The duration of the toothbrushing is variable, for 2- or 3-min p = 0.058, r = 0.043. Criteria for choosing the toothbrush were based mainly on the indications of the dentist, respectively, for toothpaste on its properties. The frequency of toothbrushing is mainly twice a day 428 (MS = 234; HS = 248), p = 0.079, r = 0.037, 73 (MS = 33; HS = 40) after every meal. p = 0.099, r = 0.095. Mouthwash is used by 421 (MS = 199; HS = 222) p = 0.111, r = −0.048, and 228 (MS = 199; HS = 222) after each brushing. Dental floss is used by 240 (MS = 106; HS = 134), p = 0.031, r = −0.073 and only 74 (MS = 41; HS = 33) after each brushing. Conclusions: there are differences in the level of knowledge and attitudes regarding the determinants of oral hygiene depending on the level of education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Care and Oral Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Article
Orthodontic Adolescent Patients’ Attitudes toward Protective Face Mask Wearing during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Medicina 2022, 58(3), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58030393 - 06 Mar 2022
Viewed by 584
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic led to restrictive measures, which aimed to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These restrictions impacted all areas of life, including the activity of dental offices. For patients with orthodontic appliances, closing the dental offices was [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic led to restrictive measures, which aimed to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These restrictions impacted all areas of life, including the activity of dental offices. For patients with orthodontic appliances, closing the dental offices was a major issue, as most orthodontic treatments last for more than a year and require regular checkups. The aim of this research was to assess the impact that the restrictive measures that were imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, especially, wearing a face mask had on a sample of Romanian teenagers undergoing fixed orthodontic treatment. Material and Methods: The study group consisted of 277 orthodontic patients, with ages between 12 and 17.9 years, from North-Western Romania. They completed a 9-item questionnaire. The control group consisted of 231 participants, with ages between 12 and 17.9 years. They completed an 8-item questionnaire. Results: Most patients from the study group were not worried that wearing a protective face mask would hide their braces (never—49.5%; rarely—26.7%), and their desire to undergo an orthodontic treatment was not affected by the compulsoriness of face mask wearing (never—51.6%; rarely—26%). In contrast to that, in the control group, more than 50% of the participants were worried to some degree that wearing a protective face mask would hide their smile (occasionally—29.9%; frequently—18.2%; very frequently—2.2%). The majority of the participants from the study group did not consider interrupting the orthodontic treatment due to the COVID-19 pandemic (62.5%), and the majority of the participants from the control group did not consider not going to the dentist due to the COVID-19 pandemic (70.6%). Most of the participants from the study group were not happy that they had to wear a face mask, which covered their orthodontic appliances, during the orthodontic treatment (68.6%). The attitude was similar to that of the participants from the control group, who were not happy that they had to wear a face mask, that covered their smile (51.1%). In the study group, most patients did not want face mask wearing to continue to be compulsory, given the fact that their orthodontic appliances were no longer visible (52%). In the control group, the attitude was similar, with 48.1% of the participants not wanting face mask compulsoriness to be maintained. Conclusions: In conclusion, although, most patients would not like to continue wearing a face mask as a mandatory regulation, they were not concerned or negatively affected by wearing a protective face mask, even though face masks hid their braces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Care and Oral Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Article
Relationship between Recovery from COVID-19-Induced Smell Loss and General and Oral Health Factors
Medicina 2022, 58(2), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58020283 - 14 Feb 2022
Viewed by 584
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Loss of smell is one of the strongest predictors of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and can persist long after other symptoms have resolved. “Long” cases (>28 days) of smell dysfunction present future challenges to medical and dental professionals, as [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Loss of smell is one of the strongest predictors of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and can persist long after other symptoms have resolved. “Long” cases (>28 days) of smell dysfunction present future challenges to medical and dental professionals, as there is a lack of evidence on the causes and any exacerbating or relieving factors. This study aimed to explore the persistence of COVID-19-induced smell loss and association with physical, lifestyle and oral health factors. Materials and Methods: This study was a cross-sectional survey of 235 participants. Recovery of smell was explored, comparing rapid recovery (≤28 days) with prolonged recovery (>28 days). Associative factors included age, sex, illness severity, diet, BMI, vitamin D supplementation, antidepressants, alcohol use, smoking, brushing frequency, flossing, missing teeth, appliances and number of dental restorations. Results: Smell loss showed 87% resolution within 30 days. Prolonged smell loss was significantly associated with older age (mean ± 95%, CI = 31.53 ± 1.36 years for rapid recovery vs. mean ± 95%, CI = 36.0 ± 3 years for prolonged recovery, p = 0.003) and increased self-reported illness severity (mean ± 95%, CI = 4.39 ± 0.27 for rapid recovery vs. 5.01 ± 0.54 for prolonged recovery, p = 0.016). Fisher’s exact test revealed flossing was associated with rapid recovery, with flossers comprising 75% of the rapid-recovery group, compared to 56% in the prolonged-recovery group (odds ratio ± 95%, CI = 2.26 (1.23–4.15), p = 0.01). All other factors were not significantly associated (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Increased age and illness severity were associated with prolonged smell recovery. Use of floss was the only modifiable factor associated with rapid recovery of smell loss. As 87% of cases resolve within 30 days, future studies may benefit from targeted recruitment of individuals experiencing prolonged sense loss. This would increase statistical confidence when declaring no association with the other factors assessed, avoiding type II errors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Care and Oral Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Article
Clinical Experience, Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice of Turkish Pediatric Dentists during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Medicina 2021, 57(11), 1140; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57111140 - 21 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 988
Abstract
Background and Objectives: “Coronavirus Disease 2019” (COVID-19) is a critical public health problem that has affected all fields, including dentistry. The dental management of children has become even more difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this study was to evaluate [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: “Coronavirus Disease 2019” (COVID-19) is a critical public health problem that has affected all fields, including dentistry. The dental management of children has become even more difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the current knowledge, attitudes and practices of Turkish pediatric dentists who have been providing dental treatments to children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: After receiving ethical approval, this cross-sectional study was conducted using the Google Forms online survey instrument. An online questionnaire link was sent to all the members of the Turkish Society of Paediatric Dentistry by e-mail and through social media. Statistical analyses were performed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square test; a p-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: A total of 200 pediatric dentists participated in this study and most of them (82%) only performed emergency dental treatments, whereas 18.5% performed both emergency and routine dental practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. The vast majority (72.5%) of pediatric dentists prescribed antibiotics and analgesics to their patients who were not cooperative with non-pharmacological behavior management techniques. The findings of the current study showed that the Turkish pediatric dentists had a good level of knowledge about COVID-19, satisfactorily conducted most of the infection control measures before and after the dental treatments, and attached importance to the use of PPEs; however, infection control measures during the dental treatments could be implemented better. Conclusions: Along with all precautions, the vaccination of healthcare workers and requesting a recent test result from patients showing a lack of COVID-19 disease before dental appointments could be used as effective infection control measures. Additionally, pediatric dentists should continue to follow local and universal guidelines, and education programmes should be frequently implemented in order to keep their COVID-19 management strategies up to date. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Care and Oral Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
Article
Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Working Conditions of Dentists in Poland and Turkey
Medicina 2021, 57(10), 1082; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57101082 - 11 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 569
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Due to the specific working conditions dental professionals represent a group of high risk of infection and COVID-19 pandemic in many ways have influenced their working environment. The aim of this study was to evaluate effects of COVID-19 pandemic [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Due to the specific working conditions dental professionals represent a group of high risk of infection and COVID-19 pandemic in many ways have influenced their working environment. The aim of this study was to evaluate effects of COVID-19 pandemic on working conditions of dentists in Poland and Turkey. Materials and Methods: The study was an anonymous online questionnaire conducted among thedentists in two countries: Poland and Turkey. The survey consisted of general questions, COVID-19 pandemic infection and working history as well as working conditions before and during pandemic. Chi-square test, Fisher’s Exact test, Fisher Freeman Halton test and Continuity (Yates) Correction were used to compare qualitative data. Results: The study was conducted with a total of 400 participants, 162 (40.5%) men and 238 (59.5%) women, aged between 23 and 67. The mean age of the participants was 42.39 ± 9.99 years. Positive COVID-19 test results among dentists in Poland were found to be significantly higher than in Turkey. Time of dental procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland and Turkey was significantly increased. The usage of N95/FFP2 or N99/FFP3 masks and surgical gowns during COVID-19 pandemic compared to pre-COVID-19 periods was clearly higher (p < 0.05). Reusable full-face and half-face elastomeric respirators are increasingly used in Turkey. During the COVID-19 pandemic a 25% decrease in dentists’ income in Poland (81%) was significantly high than in Turkey (47.5%). Conclusions: COVID-19 pandemic has influenced working conditions of dentists. Many dentists got infected during the pandemic, dental procedures’ time has increased, and protective equipment usage has become higher. Further studies analyzing the working conditions of dentists during COVID-19 pandemic should be conducted for better planning of future decisions taken by governments and authorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Care and Oral Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic)

Review

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Review
COVID-19 and Its Repercussions on Oral Health: A Review
Medicina 2021, 57(11), 1189; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57111189 - 01 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1177
Abstract
In 2019, a new type of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, the causing agent of COVID-19, was first detected in Wuhan, China. On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. The manifestations of COVID-19 are mostly age-dependent and potentially more severe in cases [...] Read more.
In 2019, a new type of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, the causing agent of COVID-19, was first detected in Wuhan, China. On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. The manifestations of COVID-19 are mostly age-dependent and potentially more severe in cases with involved co-morbidities. The gravity of the symptoms depends on the clinical stage of the infection. The most common symptoms include runny nose and nasal congestion, anosmia, dysgeusia or hypogeusia, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, respiratory distress, fatigue, ocular symptoms, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. These systemic conditions are often accompanied by skin and mucosal lesions. Oral lesions reported in patients with COVID-19 include: herpex simplex, candidiasis, geographic tongue, aphthous-like ulcers, hemorrhagic ulcerations, necrotic ulcerations, white hairy tongue, reddish macules, erythematous surfaces, petechiae, and pustular enanthema. It is still unclear if these manifestations are a direct result of the viral infection, a consequence of systemic deterioration, or adverse reactions to treatments. Poor oral hygiene in hospitalized or quarantined COVID-19 patients should also be considered as an aggravating condition. This narrative review is focused on presenting the most relevant data from the literature regarding oral manifestations related to SARS-CoV-2, as well as the challenges faced by the dental system during this pandemic. A routine intraoral examination is recommended in COVID-19 patients, either suspected or confirmed, as, in certain cases, oral manifestations represent a sign of severe infection or even of a life-threatening condition. It is our belief that extensive knowledge of all possible manifestations, including oral lesions, in cases of COVID-19 is of great importance in the present uncertain context, including new, currently emerging viral variants with unknown future impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Care and Oral Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Other

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Systematic Review
Awareness, Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice of Teledentistry among Dental Practitioners during COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Medicina 2022, 58(1), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58010130 - 15 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 863
Abstract
Background and Objectives: This systemic review aims to appraise and analyse the awareness, knowledge, attitude, and practice of teledentistry among dental practitioners during COVID-19. Materials and Methods: This review was registered in the PROSPERO database (CRD42021283404). Cross-sectional articles on dental practitioners’ [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: This systemic review aims to appraise and analyse the awareness, knowledge, attitude, and practice of teledentistry among dental practitioners during COVID-19. Materials and Methods: This review was registered in the PROSPERO database (CRD42021283404). Cross-sectional articles on dental practitioners’ perceptions towards teledentistry published between March 2020 and September 2021 were searched in ten online databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, Cochrane, EMBASE, SIGLE, EBSCO, LILACS, and Open Grey). The Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tool was employed to analyse the risk of bias (RoB) of each article, whereas the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine recommendation tool was used to evaluate the level of evidence. Data were analysed using the DerSimonian–Laird random effect model based on a single-arm approach. Results: Six studies were included and demonstrated Level 3 evidence. A single-arm meta-analysis revealed that dental practitioners had a high level of awareness (70.4%) and attitude (72.5%) towards teledentistry during the COVID-19 pandemic, but their knowledge level (57.9%) was moderate with a poor practice level (35.8%). A substantial heterogeneity was observed with the overall I2 ranging from 90.78% to 98.21%. Furthermore, meta-regression indicated that the sample size of each study had a significant (p < 0.05) impact on the degree of data heterogeneity. Conclusions: Despite their high degree of awareness and attitude, dental practitioners demonstrated moderate knowledge and relatively poor practice of teledentistry during the COVID-19 pandemic. More well-designed studies are warranted to investigate the alternatives for enhancing dental practitioners’ knowledge and practice of teledentistry interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Care and Oral Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Systematic Review
Meta-Analysis of Prevalence of Depression in Dental Students during COVID-19 Pandemic
Medicina 2021, 57(11), 1278; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57111278 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 930
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has a negative impact on the mental health of the population in general, and in college students in particular. Dental students have seen their teaching altered and their clinical practice reduced. This study was aimed at [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has a negative impact on the mental health of the population in general, and in college students in particular. Dental students have seen their teaching altered and their clinical practice reduced. This study was aimed at conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting levels of depression among dental students during the COVID-19 and estimating the pooled prevalence of depression. Materials and Methods: Medline via PubMed and other databases were searched for studies on the prevalence of depression in dental undergraduates, published from 1 December 2019 to 1 September 2021. The pooled proportions of depression were calculated with random effects models. Results: We identified 13 studies from 9 countries. The pooled prevalence of depression in dental students was 37% (95% CI: 26–49%) with no variation due to gender, response rate or methodological quality. We only found a significantly higher prevalence of depression in studies from Asia compared to Europe and America. Conclusions: Our results suggest that dental students are suffering from higher levels of depression compared with the general population or other college students during the COVID-19 pandemic, with differences across regions. Measures to improve mental health and wellbeing of dental students during the pandemic are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Care and Oral Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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