Background: The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant burden on everyone. Although dental professionals are at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection, currently, very little is known about how oral health professionals and their professions could be affected by the pandemic. This study aims to investigate dentists' perceptions on present and future dental practice in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We conducted an embedded mixed-methods study at Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, with Indian dentists registered with the Dental Council of India. Results: Of the 976 participating dentists, 61% were females, 32% were 40 years of age or younger. Nearly half of the respondents (54%) acknowledged that the lockdown measures caused them a severe financial burden, and 56% were seriously concerned about being a source of infection to their family, friends, and community. Although 79% felt very comfortable or somewhat comfortable going back to work, they were all worried that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use would increase their financial burden and impact the number of patients seeking care. Even though a vast majority received the necessary information regarding returning to practice from their concerned dental regulatory bodies, some were unsure about the reuse of the PPEs because of the conflicting information they received. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic affected participants' professional lives negatively. Their major concerns were being a source of infection to their families and community. Providing information to dental professionals in a timely manner may prepare dentists to provide safe care to their patients while protecting themselves, their staff, and their families.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)