This guideline was prepared by Nepal Dental Association, Endorsed by Nepal Medical Council and Approved by Ministry of Health and Population.
Dental staff and dental practitioners (Dental health care providers) are considered to be at highest risk of acquiring the infection because of prolonged face to face exposure to patients, exposure to respiratory secretions and aerosols produced during procedures like ultrasonic scaling and cavity/access preparation using a high speed air rotor with water jet cooling systems. Dental procedures causing splatters, fomites and aerosols can propel a high viral load in the procedure room thereby increasing the risk of cross infection between dental practitioners, patients, in-between consecutive patients as well as dental auxiliary staffs. Recent observations have proven that salivary glands act as the reservoir virus for Active and live virus have been isolated from saliva of patients who were asymptomatic or were considered free of the disease suggesting that COVID-19 transmitted by asymptomatic infection may originate from infected saliva.
This interim guidance is based on evidences, guidelines and researches and is being published to introduce the essential knowledge to protect and prevent COVID-19 in dental setup and nosocomial infection in dental settings. It is an attempt to provide recommended management protocols for dental practitioners and specialists working at different levels of dental care providing set ups (dental colleges, postgraduate institutes, dental hospitals, dental departments at government hospitals, private clinics) with strict and effective infection control mechanism in place. This interim guidance is dynamic document and subject to editing, changes and further recommendations as and when new validated evidences, researches evolves.
This interim guidance provides a guideline for dental patients’ management during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. These will safeguard dental health care providers from acquiring COVID-19 infections and prevent cross transmission among patients.
The overall aim of this interim guidance is to allow dental practice to be resumed at all levels with highest standards of safety to the patients, to ensure safety of staff and dental professionals involved in the treatment and prevent transmission of COVID-19.