The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the health-care system drastically, including dental care practice. Owing to specific characteristics of dental care such as aerosol generation as well as close proximity to patients, dentistry is thought to be associated with the bidirectional nosocomial spread of infection. The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge, practices and apprehensions among dental practitioners regarding the COVID-2019 pandemic.
Methods: An online cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey was conducted among the dentist using a combination of convenience and snowball sampling. The data was subjected to the Chi – Square test, multivariate linear regression, and Pearson’s correlation test.
Results: Almost all the dentists had heard about the coronavirus and around. 96.9% of dentist reported respiratory hygiene, social distancing, and hand hygiene as the main preventive measures for stopping the cross – transmission of infection. Oral prophylaxis (7%) and bone cutting (7%) were reported as the dental procedures that generate aerosol/micro-droplets. Only 37% of the dentists were practicing since the outbreak of COVID -19. As many as 40.2% of the dentists admitted to including the travel history while recording the case history of the patient, whereas only 20.5% screened the patients for possibility of COVID – 19 at their clinic. 18.9% were apprehensive in treating COVID -19 patients. The multiple linear regression model revealed that qualification and work experience were significant predictors of knowledge, practice and apprehension among dentists.
Conclusions: Dentists were found to have an overall good knowledge and practice, which is important to combat COVID-19. Furthermore, a certain level of apprehension toward suspected COVID-19 patients existed. Pandemic-awareness campaigns are essential among healthcare providers.