COVID-19 in dentistry- Ethical considerations




COVID-19, personal protective equipment (PPE), patient autonomy


The reach of Coronavirus Disease - 2019 (COVID-19) has even reached the ethical guidelines for good practice from the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).The health care worker should carefully consider the guidance outlined in several of the booklets as patient treatment has multiple dimensions where COVID-19 had impacted on clinical practice. Due to the nature of dentistry and aerosol generation, special care must be taken when treating healthy patients and patients that are carriers but do not realise that they are COVID-19 positive.COVID-19 transmission and aerosol dissemination may expose the practice team to hazards of infection. The risk is elevated when implementing aerosol generating procedures without any protective equipment. The oral health care worker (OHCW) and staff thus require the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as suggested by country-specific guidelines, for example, The South African Dental Association (SADA).To this extent, practicing dentistry in the 21st century is complex and amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic the OHCW is presented with more pitfalls. As the pandemic is showing no sign of abating in SA, this has presented the OHCW with a range of additional ethical considerations.These dilemmas may be resolved in a variety of ways following an understanding of the basic knowledge of core ethical values and standards for good practice outlined by the HPCSA guidelines.


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How to Cite

Maart, R., Mulder, R., & Khan, S. (2020). COVID-19 in dentistry- Ethical considerations. South African Dental Journal, 75(7), 396–399.