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Characteristics of paediatric dental emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic in Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia
Pubblication date: 30/2021
Authors: S. B. Alzahrani*, A. A. Alrusayes**, Y. K. Alfraih***, M. S. Aldossary****
Institution: *Deputy General Director, General Directorate of Dentistry, Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia **Consultant in Pediatric Dentistry, General Directorate of Dentistry, Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia
***General Dentist, General Directorate of Dentistry, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
***Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry, General Directorate of Dentistry, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Publication: European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry
Title: Characteristics of paediatric dental emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic in Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia
Abstract: Aims Except for emergencies and urgent cases, dental treatments have been suspended in Saudi Arabia. This report examines the pattern of emergency dental care provided to children and adolescents in Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia, which has been affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods In late March 2020, the General Directorate of Dentistry, Ministry of Health (MOH), administered an online dental emergency investigation form, which was to be completed by all MOH (governmental) dental centres and sent to the MOH on daily basis. This report included patient information (such as gender and age), whether the patient had contacted the hotline service centre, dental diagnosis, specialty of the treating dental professional and treatment provided. Descriptive analyses were generated.
Results Only few (n=95) patients under the age of 14 sought emergency dental treatment during the investigated period (six weeks). Findings showed very low utilisation of the hotline service (14.7%). Most had dental pain (n=85; 89.5%). Eighty four (88.4%) patients were seen by a general dental practitioner (GDP), while the rest (n=11; 11.6%) were seen by a specialised dental professional (SDP). The dental abscess (33.7%) and caries into pulp (29.5%) were the most common diagnoses for emergency dental visits among the children and adolescents. A high proportion of dental centres provided medication prescriptions and assumed inappropriate dental management during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conclusion The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on child and adolescent emergency dental services. The number of dental emergency visits was low, with a high percentage of dental infection. We urge dental professionals to pursue a consistent approach in treating emergency dental conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic era and following the national protocols.