Objectives: COVID-19 led to the adoption of containment measures including the temporary closure of dental clinics. However, dental emergencies have not ceased during this pandemic. Thus, the aim of this study was to analyze patient profiles and the offered management options to pediatric patients presenting with dental emergencies during a COVID-19 lockdown.
Schlagwörter: coronavirus disease (SARS-CoV-2), dental emergency treatment, minimally invasive treatments, pediatric dentistry
Method and materials: Retrospective analysis was performed of patient records of children seeking emergency dental treatment during a 7-week lockdown period in 2020 in a university pedodontic clinic in Germany, and compared to a similar cohort from 2019. Data on patient, tooth, and session level were collected.
Results: The 2020 cohort consisted of 83 patients, and the 2019 cohort included 46 patients, showing a 45% greater need for emergency treatment in 2020. The most common chief complaint was plaque-induced gingivitis/oral mucosal conditions in 2020 (26.4%), and irreversible pulpitis in 2019 (25.5%). Dental caries (without spontaneous pain) was the second most common chief complaint in both cohorts (20.7% and 23.4%, respectively). Most interventions in 2020 were minimally invasive treatments (eg, Hall Technique, silver diammine fluoride; 20.3%), which were in 2019 not considered at all; followed by pharmacologic treatment (16.9%), which was in 2019 also highly used (35.9%).
Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in emergency pediatric dental visits and shifted treatment options towards less invasive procedures.