Public Health Challenges of Restorative Dental Practice in Low Resource Settings during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Authors

  • Ifeoma Nkiruka MENAKAYA
  • Nnamdi Chuks MENAKAYA

Keywords:

Public health, restorative dental practice, low resource settings, COVID-19 pandemic

Abstract

Background: COVID-19 remains a major public health threat globally, and has challenged healthcare systems and services including oral health

Objective: This study examines the key public health challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in low resource settings. While healthcare services are learning to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, dental care services, in particular restorative dental practice have been adversely impacted because of the closeness of caregivers to the patient’s mouth as well as the generation of aerosols during most restorative procedures. This presents a challenge for low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) such as Nigeria where weak and poor governance structures characterize healthcare systems in addition to paucity of economic resources. Another challenge in the form of COVID-19 conspiracy theories has threatened to undermine public health efforts designed to control the pandemic.

Conclusion: The implementation of optimal guidelines and safety protocols for effective COVID -19 infection prevention and control is a major challenge for restorative dental care practice in low resource settings owing to paucity of key material resources and inappropriate behaviour associated with lingering doubts about COVID-19 reality among the majority of the populace. The Safer Aerosol-Free Emergent Dentistry concept offers a viable practical approach for restorative dental practice in LMICs during and in the post COVID-19 pandemic era. There is a need to deploy all resources, human and material, in the education and enlightenment of the populace regarding the reality of COVID-19.



Author Biographies

Ifeoma Nkiruka MENAKAYA

Department of Restorative dentistry, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Nnamdi Chuks MENAKAYA

Medicine and Occupational Health Clinic, 11 PLC (Formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc), Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria

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Published

2022-01-26

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Section

Original Articles