KUALA LUMPUR: The time slots for dental care that can be given at public health facilities in one working day are very limited due to the longer treatment process compared to the situation before the Covid-19 pandemic.
The senior director of the Ministry of Health (MOH) (oral health), Dr Noormi Othman, said that in the increasingly serious situation of Covid-19, the ministry has adopted several new standards in the delivery of dental services in accordance with defined guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs). .
This includes a stricter screening process at check-in desks, limiting patient attendance at clinics by encouraging them to book appointments online or by phone, and scheduling appointments in stages.
“In addition, the period of disinfection of the dental treatment room after the end of treatment for each patient has been extended to ensure a safe environment, and thus control the transmission of Covid-19 to patients and dental staff”, she said in a statement. today.
Dr Noormi was responding to an article published in the News Straits Times (letters column) titled “Six months of unreasonable wait” and in The Star (Your opinion column) titled “Six months wait for dental treatment?
She explained that every patient who attends the dental clinic should go through a screening process. Low-risk patients are allowed all types of dental treatment, while high-risk patients are restricted to emergency treatment only.
Most dental treatments such as scaling and fillings that involve the production of sprays and small water droplets (aerosols) mixed with the saliva of the patient who has the potential to spread Covid-19, will be done in a room. special dental treatment equipped with equipment to control and reduce the production of these aerosols.
“All dentists should also always wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) and adhere to cross infection control practices when performing treatment.
“This work process includes preparing the treatment room, applying and removing PPE from dental staff, and disinfecting the dental treatment room,” she said.
However, Dr Noormi stressed that the Ministry of Health is very concerned about the issue and is organizing strategies to ensure that patients who present to public health facilities are seen on the same day and reduce the wait time for dental care during appointments.
“The Department of Health calls on the public to be patient and understand the constraints of dental health services during the movement control order (MCO).
“The public is advised to comply with the SOPs set by the MKN and the Ministry of Health to make an appointment for a dental exam online or by phone at a dental clinic near their respective residences,” he said. she declared. – Bernama