Dentistry in the post-pandemic is the focus of work published in open access

Group of researchers looked for scientific evidence that would enable safety in the restart of activities

20 may, 2020≈ 4 min read

In view of the gap in the definitions of safety in dentistry in the context of SARS CoV 2 / Covid 19, a multi-institutional working group, whose creation was led by the Center for Research and Innovation in Dental Sciences (CIROS) of the Faculty of Dentistry Medicine at the University of Coimbra, developed a set of Clinical Guidance Rules (NOC) with a focus on restarting the activities of this specialty, considered, in the context of the pandemic, one of the most risky in the contamination and spread of the disease.

The group of researchers COVID-19 MD sought to compile in the publication, made available in open access and in three different formats, in a systematic way, the existing evidence on the subject and to make the clinical decision of the pre, per and post consultation as robust as possible. The idea is to guarantee and to create mechanisms that allow professional practice in safety in the perspective of returning from their activities. The document that results from the work is, in turn, a scientific contribution that seeks to expand knowledge about professional practice in the context of the disease pandemic.

For the creation of the Norms, the team was led by Fernando Guerra (University of Coimbra) and António Duarte Mata (University of Lisbon). The working group is also part of the Research Unit in Oral and Biomedical Sciences (UICOB) of the Faculty of Dental Medicine of the University of Lisbon, and BoneLab, Laboratory of Metabolism and Bone Regeneration of the Faculty of Dental Medicine of the University of Porto. Researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid also participated.

The study

The Clinical Guidance Standards used the Rapid Guidelines on Covid 19 methodology, developed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, for its creation.

Important and unanswered questions related to the moments mentioned (pre, per and post-consultation) were listed. Bibliographic research was carried out in the main databases and search engines, with a focus on the existing bibliography, both on Covid 19 and on other infections such as influenza. In addition to the database search, authors were contacted directly by email, with the aim of locating more articles, expanding the search with the snowball method.

More than 30 thousand abstracts were evaluated with potentially useful information, with 300 relevant articles found, to which 97 publications located in the manual search and due to contact with authors were added by the team. Of this total of 397, a summary review of the quality of the publications was carried out, leaving a final batch of 185 articles that served as an evidence base for the construction of the Norms.

The questions posed in the Clinical Guidance Rules were created with a level of evidence and strength of recommendation, despite the disparities in the quality of evidence found throughout the bibliography. The result of the work makes it possible to identify existing knowledge gaps and is useful both for the construction of safety protocols for clinical practice and for the identification of areas to be investigated in the future.

The formed working group continues to develop research projects to increase biosafety in clinical Dentistry, in addition to the creation of other individual partnerships and with national and international organizations.

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