The European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) has published a set of infographics that provide suggestions for how dental practices can operate safely and manage patient workflow before, during, and after treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coordinated by EFP past president and European Project Committee chair Filippo Graziani, the safety protocol was devised as a response to the crisis affecting the provision of oral healthcare services around the world, the EFP said.
The scientific evidence related to dental management during the COVID-19 pandemic is only observational so far, the EFP said, and prospectively designed interventions to form the basis for proper evidence-based guidelines are missing.
The protocols are based on the limited scientific literature available and on the observations and experiences of dental clinicians, the EFP said, and it does not conflict with any guidelines issued by local and national healthcare authorities.
“We have tried to highlight the current knowledge, basing our ideas on three different levels of strength according to the information we have on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. For the EFP, the safety of our colleagues, coworkers, and patients worldwide is of utmost importance,” Graziani said.
“Despite the relatively little knowledge that is available, we have tried to encapsulate some practical information in graphics to support the dental and periodontal world globally. Please follow your own institutions’ guidelines if any discrepancies are noted and check for changes, as knowledge on the management of the virus is changings swiftly,” he said.
The infographics illustrate protocols for patient triage, patient management in the dental office, and treatment and post-treatment routines, as well as a phone-triage questionnaire with questions to ask patients when they call for an appointment.
“In these uncertain days, at the time when we will probably start going back to work in many countries, the EFP felt that this initiative was necessary to offer to all our members clear guidelines and also to have a global vision of the situation and the impact of the pandemic on periodontists, dentists, and hygienists,” said Xavier Struillou, EFP president.