Psychosocial effects of COVID-19 pandemic on dental patients
Hani Mawardi1, Mohammed Zahran2, Dania Sabbahi3, Siraj Dakhil4, Lena Elbadawi5, Rawah Eshky6, Danish Pathan7
1 Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, King Abdulaziz University – Faculty of Dentistry, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Prosthodontics, King Abdulaziz University – Faculty of Dentistry, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Dental Public Health, King Abdulaziz University – Faculty of Dentistry, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Endodontics, King Abdulaziz University – Faculty of Dentistry, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
5 Department of Periodontics, King Abdulaziz University – Faculty of Dentistry, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
6 Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Taibah University Dental College and Hospital, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia
7 Department of Dentistry, Inamdar Multispecialty Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Dr. Hani Mawardi
Departments of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, King Abdulaziz University – Faculty of Dentistry, Jeddah
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Introduction: The spread of coronavirus infection (COVID-19) has been increasing exponentially with significant impact on every aspect of people's lives. Dentists in particular are at a greater risk of disease contraction since majority of the procedures are based on direct contact with patients.
Aim: This study attempted to understand the attitude of patients seeking dental treatment during the pandemic.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional, self-administered survey which included validated questions on (1) sociodemographic information of participants; (2) participants' basic knowledge on COVID-19; and (3) the willingness and mindset of participants to pursuit dental treatment during, and after the curfew period. Data were collected and statistically analyzed for significance.
Results and Discussion: A total of 904 residents from 25 countries. Participants who, or their family members, experienced dental complaints during the curfew period were able to manage via in-office emergency visit, using over counter medication, tele-dentistry or following friends' advice. In total, 48% (433/904) stated to likely seek dental treatment (if needed) with local curfew lifting and 50.4% (456/904) were likely to wait for more than 4 weeks before visiting the dentist. In total, 70% of participants reported sufficient social distancing and wearing masks by the dental staff would address their concerns during dental treatments.
Conclusion: Personal financial conditions, lack of awareness, and fear of contracting COVI-19 were identified as important influencing factors for the general public to return for professional dental care. Future, long-term studies to better understand the psychosocial effects of the current pandemic on individuals should be considered.