Dr Gautam Sharma, Ex-President Indian Dental Association (IDA), Jammu has requested health ministry to release specific guidelines to be followed in this Covid-19 pandemic pertaining to use of chemicals and protocol for fumigation in dental clinics and personal protective equipment quality, availability, sterilization and disposal.
Dentist throughout the country are confused as top dental authorities like Dental Council of India (DCI), Indian Dental Association (IDA) and some other private organizations have released their guidelines regarding fumigation protocols and PPEs in the dental clinics.
Dr.Sharma requested Ministry of Health to publish the guidelines on its website that has to be adopted as standard operating procedure (SOP) by every dentist of the country.
“There is perplexity over the chemical to be used in dental clinics and concentration of the chemical for fumigation as different organizations and webinars are telling the different agents to be used. There is also confusion over the PPE suits to be used, its thickness, sterlisation and proper procedure of disposal of PPE” said Dr.Sharma.
He said that Ministry shall also authorize some dealers in every town to sell the PPE approved by the government or publish the specifications on its website for PPE as market is flooded with sub-standard PPEs.
It is pertinent to mention here that substandard and low quality PPE will not be able to protect the dentist against corona virus as aerosol production in most of the procedures in dentistry including scaling, cavity preparation with air rotor, use of reduction handpiece or even two way syringe is enormous.
Dr.Gautam stressed that while most of the private clinics are closed due to lockdown but the dentist in government sectors and dental colleges are at high risk as not enough PPEs are provided to them to undertake the procedures. He requested the health ministry to provide standardized PPE to every government doctor on duty in the central and state governments.
He said that the guidelines for PPE and fumigation must come up at the earliest on the Health ministry website as many private practitioners will open their clinics after the lockdown period will over.
Dr. Sharma also requested the authorities to provide some special economic package to private dental practitioners who were solely dependent on their income from the dental clinics and are worst hit due to lockdown, while they have to pay the rent of the clinics, salary of the employees, pending bills and loans from the bank.