In the aftermath of COVID-19, collective experiences and innovative protocols developed during the pandemic are going to be an inseparable part of the dental healthcare landscape, writes Amarinder Singh
Most of us are highly optimistic about overcoming the chaos created by novel coronavirus globally. Yet it is quite clear that the post-COVID-19 world will be significantly different from the one we had before the outbreak. The pandemic is set to bring in transformational changes into our lifestyle and business operations. Expected to undergo a paradigm shift, the healthcare delivery will be largely digitally oriented with stringent quality measures during clinical operations. There will also be focus on development of new public health protocols for preventing another calamity of this scale.
Among other key verticals of healthcare, the dentistry has witnessed a major overhaul in terms of completely new protocols and workflows. The lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 has lead to many new patient protocols at clinical settings such as hand disinfection, provision of masks, and shoe covers besides recording of temperatures. The use of disposable gloves, face masks, protective eyewear, face shields, protective clothing is a new normal now and would continue to be used in dental clinics even after the pandemic situation slows down. Another example would be of teledentistry that has emerged as the best practical solution to improve access to oral health services by offering emergency aid, initial consultation, and expert opinion. ed without exposing them to unnecessary risks and expenses. With simple tools like smartphones and laptop webcams, dentists can see the most vulnerable dental patients safely in their homes thereby eliminating their risk of infection.
As I write, more than 27.5 lakh people have reportedly contracted COVID-19 worldwide. In India alone, there are 25,502 cases, out of which 5,012 cases have recovered from illness, and 722 persons have died. These figures are scary and keep changing every day, making us hopeful or otherwise in a matter of moments. can really question the fact that this pandemic will require a rethinking of priorities and reorientation of strategies for the recovery from current shock and let the new normal evolve.
It is important to note that this is a largely unorganized sector with millions of neighborhood clinics all over the country who often fail to adhere to the basic safety and hygiene protocol. Since the pandemic has shaken the beliefs of consumers, the dental health industry in India will have to slowly regain trust by assuring them with quality and safety. We must deliver innovative solutions adaptable to the pace and scope of the marketplace change.
As a leading player, Clove Dental is extremely particular about hygiene and our trademarked four-step sterilization is a testimony to that. We would be happy to share our best practices for we are driven and committed to bringing about a paradigm shift in the dental care landscape in India.
I am of a very strong belief that in the post COVID world, the teaching and practice of dentistry requires a massive overhaul. With the distinct advantage of a knowledge pool of 900+ incredibly talented dentists, we are also keen to evaluate the Dentists Act 1948 (that regulates dental education and profession of dentistry in India) and recommend suitable amendments for consideration. While we at Clove may be ready for it, we would ideally want the whole of India to be in sync with it. We shall continue with our mission of bringing about awareness on oral care, and in a safe and hygienic clinical setup.
The pandemic has also led to an unimaginable situation where even common people are getting used to the medical terminologies. The words such as a pandemic, viral load, diagnostic kits, biosafety, and what have not been added to the routine vocabulary. The ongoing lockdown we despise so much is making us learn a lot of new things- maintaining cleanliness, eating hygienic food, and leading a healthy life.
On a positive note, it makes one happy that this pandemic has taught us many lessons – in any sphere, we can think of and dentistry is no different. A mix of experiences and learning, the COVID-ified future of dentistry and dentists will be full of innovation and quality.
About Clove Dental
Clove Dental is the largest network of dental clinics in India. Since inception in 2011, clove has been persistent in their tunnel vision and ardently strive to offer global standards of dentistry in every neighbourhood across the subcontinent. Spread across 300+ locations in 12 states and 26 cities, Clove manages an excess of 30,000 patients every month. In addition, they have conducted about 15 lakh treatments in the last eight years.
For more info : https://clovedental.in/