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K'taka advises deferring routine dental treatment amid COVID-19 pandemic

Considering dental treatment procedures posing a high cross infection threat amid COVID-19 outbreak, Karnataka government has asked patients to defer all routine and elective dental treatment, an official said on Tuesday.

Updated Jun 16, 2020 07:57 AM

K'taka advises deferring routine dental treatment amid COVID-19 pandemic

"In the current COVID-19 pandemic, dentists, auxiliaries as well as patients undergoing dental procedures are at high risk of cross infection," said a health official.

Most dental procedures require close contact with a patient's oral cavity, saliva, blood and respiratory tract secretions.

"Saliva is rich in Covid viral load. It is suggested that all patients visiting a dental clinic must be treated with due precautions --all routine and elective dental procedures should be deferred for a later review until new guidelines are issued," he said.

As dental clinics in the containment zones are shut, dentists in such places can continue to provide tele-triage while patients can avail ambulance services to travel to a nearby clinic.

The health department has sounded caution for people involved in oral cancer screening under the National Cancer Screening programme as high risk is associated with examining oral cavity.

Categorising dental conditions which require priority care but do not increase a patient's death as an Urgent Dental Procedure, the health department directed that such treatments should be taken up only after tele-consultation, tele-triage and advance appointments.

However, dental conditions which can increase a patient's death risk have been categorized as emergency.

The health department has also issued other guidelines for dental clinics on readiness, including ventilation and air quality management in standalone dental clinics among others.

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