The coronavirus pandemic has caused a global public health crisis with an unprecedented shutdown of major establishments and non-emergency services. Disruptions across the country in dental hospitals led to challenges in addressing patient's dental complaints. The present study aimed to analyse the difference in the pattern of the Outpatient dental visits during the pandemic period in comparison to that of the pre-pandemic period in a tertiary care hospital. This retrospective study was carried out by retrieving the patient data from the diagnostic register of the Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology for a period of one year. The data that was retrieved from 24th September 2019 to 23rd March 2020 was categorized under the pre-pandemic period and the data from 24th March 2020 to 24th September 2020 was grouped under the pandemic period. Patient data regarding the age, gender and clinical diagnosis was recorded and categorized under three main categories: “Emergency”, “urgent” and “elective”. 7550 patients during pre-pandemic period and 4035 patients during the pandemic period visited the dental hospital during the study period. Under the “emergency dental care” category, during the pre-pandemic period, majority of the cases reported of acute dental pain (71.0%) followed by cellulitis and space infection (20.1%) and maxillofacial trauma (8.7%). During the pandemic period, acute dental pain consisted of all emergency visits (n = 307). The proportion of emergency dental visits during the pandemic were significantly higher than the pre-pandemic period. Elective dental visits were significantly higher during pre-pandemic period in comparison to the pandemic period. (P < 0.001). There was a notable change in the outpatient trend of the dental visits during the COVID-19 pandemic in comparison to the pre-pandemic period. Emergency dental services were utilized at a higher rate during the pandemic period in comparison to the pre-pandemic counterpart.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)