Novel Coronavirus has spread its impact globally and brought everything on hold. All the medical centers and hospitals including the dental clinics are experiencing historic challenges due to the pandemic of COVID-19. The impact is evident in almost every region across the globe due to government-enforced lock-down, social distancing and quarantine rules. This has led local dental clinics recommending cancellation of all non-emergency dental treatments, whereas dental tourism (traveling abroad for dental care) is out of the question. However, it is also a fact that such a situation will not stay forever. People will get adjusted to the “new normal” and move towards safety solutions.
Some countries are showing positive signs of improvement. For example, Mexico has remarkably managed the outbreak of coronavirus and likely to restart its health tourism industry soon. The country has initiated efforts to loosen restrictions and reopen its economy and one of the vital measures has been accepting foreign patients from some countries by following certain isolation rules and security conditions. Gradually, more countries will also start accepting international patients, which will give a boost to medical travel including dental tourism. However, the dental care providers need to be stricter as the chances of virus transmission are significantly higher in a dental procedure in comparison to other treatments.
The COVID-19 virus can be present in the infected patients’ saliva, which plays a key role in human to human transmission. Healthcare professionals like dentists may unknowingly provide direct care to the infected but asymptomatic patients or people who are not yet diagnosed with COVID-19. The dentists can be at high risk of inhaling aerosols or airborne particles produced during dental procedures on such patients, as the chances of being exposed to the virus directly increase significantly. Those dentists can carry on treatments on other patients before they start developing symptoms and may transmit the virus on them as well. Thus, dentistry is a high-risk branch, which calls for proper safety measures and preventive strategies for every dentist and clinics providing dental care.
Many people are waiting for the ease of travel restrictions and book for dental procedures abroad. If you are one of them, it is very important to get assured that the clinic you plan to visit is strictly following the safety protocols.
It is obvious that initially, every country will look towards addressing patients who need urgent and emergency dental care. The non-urgent procedures can be postponed until things turn better in terms of safety and dental tourism.
Whether your dental care requirement is urgent or not so urgent, you must stay informed and updated about the status of the dental clinics where you want to travel. You should search for the clinics and communicate with them regarding the procedure you want to avail. Some clinics have also started online consultation and second opinion packages, where you can get advice from the expert dentists abroad regarding precautions you can conduct until you can fly aboard for the treatment. Regular communication with the dental clinics will also help you to stay updated about the pricing, booking and other essential details about the procedure you are planning to opt.
Everyone is facing the biggest challenge of their lives and the situation is quite exigent for people seeking dental treatment abroad. However, there are some positive scenarios taking place in many countries, which are gradually going back towards normalcy. It is also obvious that things will start moving in every country sooner or later, which means dental tourism will be back on priority once again. Till then, it is important that you keep yourself educated, updated and most importantly safe. You can use this time to improve your oral hygiene to prevent dental problems from happening during the COVID outbreak and also to remain well-prepared for your dental procedure in the future.
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