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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 64-68

Masks and respirators, selection criteria for periodontal therapy: Challenges for a periodontist during COVID-19

Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Dentistry, Ajman University, Ajman, UAE

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sudhir Rama Varma
Department of Periodontics, College of Dentistry, Ajman University, Ajman
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jioh.jioh_218_20

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Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has created a pandemic, which has upgraded most medical services across the globe to the level of emergency preparedness and the highest infection control measures. Use of personal protective equipment and masks along with respirators is possibly the only way to combat the spread and its use in areas where the personnel is in high-risk category offers a lifeline. This review aimed to examine, summarize the available evidence related to use of masks and respirators, and possibly provide a recommendation for the periodontist and dental fraternity as a whole. A literature search was conducted on the PubMed, PubMed Central, MEDLINE, and Embase databases with the keyword “surgical masks,” “COVID-19,” “Respirators,” “N95,” “health care worker,” “oral,” and “dental treatment.” Masks and respirators offer prevention and control of the spread of the pandemic. Respirators are found to be more effective than masks in the ability to prevent aerosol transmission to health care workers. More studies are needed to be carried out to evaluate efficacy and vital characteristics of the respirators available to rule out any possibility of breach caused either by noncompliance or otherwise. Although the virus transmission is caused by varied clinical presentations, the use of masks and respirators offers hope in reducing the risk of cross transmission both to the dentists and patients.

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