The Impact of Covid-19 on Orthodontic Patients

by Amato Alessandra and Di Spirito Federica and Caggiano Mario

The COVID-19 pandemic had a strong impact on the dental practice and the doctor/patient relationship. The fear of contagion has driven patients away from the dental practice with inevitable consequences for ongoing therapies. Of these, the most problematic were the longer therapies, such as orthodontic and periodontal treatments. Approximately 1/6 of patients undergoing orthodontic treatment stated that they did not want to return to their orthodontist, and the majority of those who did return reported damage caused by not being able to have monthly check-ups during the first phase of the pandemic. In addition, factors such as anxiety and stress have increased dramatically during the last 2 years and with them the incidence of temporomandibular disorders, resulting in increased risk factors for dental treatment. In this context, it is necessary to review the dentist's approach to the patient from both a therapeutic and a medico-legal point of view. In the post-pandemic period, in fact, there has been an acceleration in the growth trend of removable treatments in orthodontics and more generally of home dental treatments thanks to 'teledentistry'. In light of all this, it becomes essential to update protocols, informed consents and guidelines.

Learning Objectives

After this lecture, you will be able to learn about the changes caused by COVID-19 to the dental practice
After this lecture, you will be able to suggest a new work-flow for “long-distance” dental treatment
After this lecture, you will be able to consider medico-legal aspects in the preparation of informed consents for “post-pandemic” treatments