Impact on Dental Treatment Procedures in
Dental OPD Attendance and Emergency Care
of Non-COVID-19 Patients during COVID-19
Pandemic: A Study from Meghalaya, India
Assistant Professor, Department of Dentistry, North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences, Shillong, Meghalaya, India.
Introduction: Dental emergency situations such as trauma of oral and maxillofacial region due to road traffic accident might require immediate intervention. But due to an outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and a phase-I lockdown all the private dental clinics were temporarily closed the only hope for dental emergency patientâ€™s care was a Government run hospital dental set-up during this time of pandemic.
Aim: To find out the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the dental OPD attendance and its emergencies in dental care to non-COVID-19 patient by comparing a three months data of recent past, pre and COVID-19 pandemic.
Materials and Methods: It's a comparative study where number of patients attending the daily dental OPD patient services comprising of new cases, follow-up cases, in-patient case services for three months from March 2020-May 2020 and also compare with the previous years' (2019 and 2018) of three months (March to May).
Results: The data shows that there was a tremendous decrease in total number of patients in the dental OPD services during this pandemic and phase-I lockdown. The statistical analysis of the data shows that the overall changes in flow of the patients during the pandemic were 39.35***, 33.52*** and 39.07*** for a new patient/week, follow-up patient/week and total no. of patient/week respectively with an ANOVA, where 'p' is significant at <0.01, <0.001.
Conclusion: The study shows that COVID-19 pandemic and phase-I lockdown had impacted overall patient flow in the daily routine dental OPD services within these three months (March to May) of 2020 as compared to three months (March to May) from the previous year of 2019 and 2018.