COVID impact: Unmet dental needs rise in Delhi

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Rohit Shishodia

Dental healthcare has been badly impacted due to COVID pandemic. Shutting down of dental care clinics and government set ups in response to COVID have halted the most crucial treatment of dental diseases. People delay their treatment which may lead to complications later, say doctors.  

 “Cases of periodontitis, tooth ache, gingivitis, swelling and dental caries have increased due to delay in treatment in wake of the pandemic in Delhi, says Dr Swati Jain, Consultant, Mobile Dental Clinic Project, Maulana Azad Instittue of Dental Sciences (MAIDS), Delhi while interacting with DTMT on July 31, 2021.

Dr Swati stressed that unmet dental needs have increased because of deferring of treatment apart from emergencies in wake of COVID.

Dr Jain has advised people to maintain oral hygiene to prevent any oral health problem amid COVID.

“They (people) should follow basic oral hygiene such as brushing twice a day and rinsing after every meal. They should first teleconsult with dentists if they have any problem,” added Dr Jain.

“They should not rush to the hospitals immediately. Let doctors decide whether they really need dental treatment in the hospital or not. They should not panic. Doctors know how to deal with dental care amid this pandemic as the situation has been existing for over one and half years,” she explained.

However, tobacco consumption has decreased as accessibility to tobacco products has become difficult  due to lockdown. It may be noted that tobacco intake has been the commonest cause of oral cancer.  

“This is a positive sign. We have also worked on tobacco cessation. Avoiding tobacco while staying with family members is also a factor behind decrease in tobacco intake,” Dr Jain said.   



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