Introduction: COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic on March 11th 2020, and all routine dental care in England was suspended on March 25th 2020. Oral surgeons typically continued their roles due to the requirement of surgical expertise in the management of urgent care. Aims: To survey the British Association of Oral Surgeons’ membership of 654 exploring the impact and response of the specialty in the early phase of the pandemic. Methods: BAOS membership were invited to participate in a weekly online survey commencing 30th March 2020 for 4 weeks. Themes explored included demographics, PPE, clinical role and care provided, and financial impact. Results: 400 responses were received over the four-week period. Telephone advice was rapidly introduced ahead of clinical examinations. Few oral surgeons were initially able to provide emergency oral surgery procedures or clinical examinations due to PPE shortage. Only a small proportion of oral surgeons were required themselves to isolate and only a small proportion were redeployed. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted UK oral surgery services particularly in the early stage and highlight the lack of preparedness. As availability of PPE and evidence on AGPs and infection control became more readily accessible, surgeons became more confident to provide emergency surgical treatment rather than just phone consultations. The impact on patients’ oral health is likely to have been profound.

Fuente: Oral Surgery

First published: 15 February 2022