BRAZILIAN ORAL RESEARCH, vol.35, pp.48-59, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
Dentists are exposed to the highest risk of occupational respiratory and droplet infections by working face-to-face with patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge of symptoms and modes of transmission of COVID-19, stress levels and clinical practice modifications of Turkish dentists during the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey (15 questions) was sent to Turkish dentists from May 5 to 12 May, 2020. The survey comprised questions about dentists’ demographic characteristics, their knowledge about COVID-19, stress levels and the measures taken in dental clinics against COVID-19. This study included a total of 1,095 Turkish dentists. The data were expressed as frequency with percentage values for overall variables. Dentists were most familiar with high fever among the symptoms of COVID-19 (99.4%) and 99.2% of them reported that COVID-19 was transmitted with eye, mouth and nasal mucosa contact on surfaces contaminated with the droplets of infected persons. While the stress levels of females were higher than males, the stress levels of dentists with more than 20 years of professional experience were found to be lower. Regarding the precautions to be taken as a preventive measure when working again, 86.6% of the dentists took precautions by increasing daily patient care intervals and only 38.4% of the dentists wore an N95 mask. During this pandemic, knowing the conditions about when the treatments can be applied and the precautions to be taken will shed light on dentistry staff. Current recommendations of national authorities about the coronavirus should be followed.