Periodontal care, which was completely suspended during the peak of the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic and was delayed and recurrently discontinued during the succeeding waves, must be safely provided in the COVID-19 era.
The study aimed to provide recommendations on periodontal practice, optimizing safety, ergonomics, and economic resources, and the management of periodontal patients, ensuring continuity, timing, and effectiveness of periodontal care in the COVID-19 era.
Reported protocols for the dental practice in the context of the COVID-19 and current evidence on periodontitis treatment and prevention were reviewed.
Evidence-based recommendations on contamination control and ergonomic improvements for periodontal practice and the management of periodontal patients challenging COVID-19 and airborne infectious diseases have been provided.
Due to the economic, ergonomic, and ethical concerns raised by limited periodontal care due to the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic, and awareness of other emerging airborne transmitted infections, the periodontal practice should integrate measures minimizing airborne cross-infections and optimizing time-space and economic resources. The management of periodontal patients in the COVID-19 era should comprise less complex treatments and more comprehensive and definitive approaches, reducing emergencies, session length and number, and, concurrently, extending the recall and maintenance intervals. Moreover, it should implement prevention strategies through teledentistry tools and apps, improving periodontal awareness and self-care, and also through the self-reporting of periodontitis and periodontal risk assessment tools, performing both “population-based” and “high-risk” surveillance of periodontitis. Finally, it should enhance inter-professional collaboration, through telehealth networks, especially targeting subjects at high-risk of both periodontitis and systemic disorders, each of the two variously linked to COVID-19 onset and worsening.
Keywords: Periodontal practice, Periodontal treatment, Periodontitis prevention, Periodontitis management, SARS-Cov-2, COVID-19.