Public Health Dentist: An Untapped Potential during COVID-19 Pandemic

The Open Dentistry Journal 12 July 2021 REVIEW ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874210602115010296


To date, the 21st century has encountered various outbreaks, causing global disruption and highlighting our vulnerability to epidemics. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a highly infectious respiratory illness. Approximately 15% of the affected individuals show severe symptoms requiring oxygen, and of these, 5% require ventilation. This pandemic has affected more than 216 countries or territories (by 20th September 2020), infecting more than 30.6 million people; hitherto, 950000 deaths have been reported. This public health emergency has created a disproportionate burden on the health care system worldwide. Therefore, the management and resolution of this critical situations require the mobilisation of excessive human resources for rapid response, and time is essential in the management of this crisis. Together, these factors contribute to the rapid capacity development with the minimal investment of time and resources, which requires the deployment of an existing skilled workforce, such as public health dentists. These dentists have administrative capabilities and can work in coherence with the community and other health professionals. The present review aims to highlight the areas in which the untapped potential of Public Health Dentists can be explored to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19, Public health dentist, Pandemic, Manpower, Dentists, Outbreak.
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