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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 53

Orthodontic urgencies and their management during COVID-19 pandemic-A web-based survey

1 Department of Orthodontics, Government Dental College, Thrissur, Kerala, India
2 Department of Orthodontics, Government Dental College, Calicut, Kerala, India
3 Department of Orthodontics, KMCT Dental College, Mukkam, Calicut, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
P Muhammed Shibin
Assistant Professor, Department of Orthodontics, Government Dental College, Calicut, Kerala-673003
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jos.jos_6_23

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OBJECTIVES: This investigation aimed to evaluate the most common orthodontic urgencies, their management, and changes in routine biosafety measures and the total income of the dental office in South India during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A questionnaire was drafted using Google Forms with questions in four domains pertaining to orthodontic urgencies, biosafety measures, treatment duration, and income. After validation, this questionnairewas sent to 750 orthodontists via WhatsApp messenger (WhatsApp Inc, Menlo Park, Calif) over a period of 14 days.Descriptive statistics and comparisons were performed using independent t- and Chi-square tests. RESULTS: Majority of the orthodontists (62.3%) had closed their clinics only during the first lockdown. Many (63%) had scheduled urgent appointments along with routine limited patients per day. The most frequent urgencies were related to the breakage of brackets, archwires, molar tubes, bands, and temporary anchorage devices. Aligners were the least problematic. The treatment time was also prolonged. Telephonic advice and virtual assistance via WhatsApp messages/videos were found to be successful in the management of urgencies.Most orthodontists had strengthened their routine biosafety measures.The financial impact of this pandemic was considerable, with nearly 50% reduction in total income. CONCLUSIONS: Urgencies linked to preadjusted edgewise appliances, such as breakage of brackets and tubes, and archwire-related injuries were the most common. Prolongation of treatment time and negative financial impact were the other problems encountered during this pandemic. Drastic changes had occurred in routine biosafety measures, which prevented the spread of infection among orthodontists and patients.

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