Less than 50% of countries recommend fallow time for non-COVID patients, report finds

Under half of the international dental guidelines assessing AGPs recommended a fallow period for non-COVID patientsUnder half of the international dental guidelines assessing AGPs recommend a fallow period for non-COVID patients.

This is according to a new report assessing how aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) are defined internationally and what mitigation processes were advised.

Looking at national dental recommendations from 58 countries, it revealed only 48% recommended a fallow period following an AGP treatment. The suggested times range between two to 180 minutes.

Additionally, just eight countries provided possible mitigation factors to allow for a reduction in the fallow time.

The report also found that most countries releasing recommendations for COVID-19 patients advised the same measures for non-COVID patients.

Report results

Other findings include:

  • 98% approved AGPs for non-COVID patients
  • 94% of countries recommend the use of a face mask and a face shield, or googles, for non-COVID patients
  • 21 countries (33%) recommend the use of surgical masks for non-COVID patients. In comparison, 44 countries (70%) recommend using FFP2/N95 and 12 countries (19%) recommend the use of FFP3 masks
  • 82% of documents recommend the use of a pre-procedural mouthwash for non-COVID patients
  • There is a lack of provided evidence to support the majority of recommendations in the guidelines.

Additionally, only 19 documents make specific reference to the need for fit testing of FFP2/FFP3 masks.

Forty two countries (67%) recommend wearing surgical gowns. And 32 countries (51%) advise wearing surgical caps or hats, while 21 countries (33%) recommend using disposable aprons.

Worsened oral health

This comes as research shows the large majority of UK dental professionals believe lockdown has worsened the nation’s oral health.

Almost nine in 10 clinicians think the population’s dental health could decline due to a lack of routine appointments.

And 77% worry the current climate led to missed oral cancers and, as a result, missed referrals.

Additionally, 41% believe it will take between one year and 18 months for the UK’s dental health to recover.

You can read the full report on international AGP guidelines here.

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