Portugal: Survey shows 99.5% of dentists escaped infection in clinical setting

Lisbon, Aug. 21, 2020 (Lusa) – A survey of around 40% of all dentists in Portugal revealed that 99.5% of them escaped infection by the new coronavirus in a clinical setting despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the survey, one in three of the 4,136 dentists questioned said that they had waived their salary to mitigate the impact of closures and the reduction of the number of appointments due to the pandemic.

The survey was carried out in August by the Order of Dentists, which has 10,653 active registered members. It said that the findings “demonstrate that the measures applied are adequate and that dentists know what they are doing with regard to cross infection”.

Among dentists questioned, 40% said that patients are not afraid of being infected during treatment, 30% that some do fear being infected and 25% that some may fear it, according to the survey.

In addition, 48% of respondents reported that there was less financial readiness on the part of patients to pursue planned treatments.

Dental clinics and offices resumed their activities on an 4 May, for appointments booked in advance by phone or email, and with patients wearing a mask before being seen.

In a statement to Lusa, the head the Order of Dentists, Miguel Pavão, said that the survey findings showed that the resumption of activity had gone well, since in a clinical environment the rate of infection is almost zero, offering a guarantee of confidence for doctors and patients.

He stressed, however, that in the event of a second wave of the pandemic, it is necessary to facilitate access to testing for these professionals, as well as for this year’s flu vaccine.

In Portugal there have been 1,788 deaths associated with Covd-19 out of 54,992 confirmed infections with the new coronavirus that causes it, according to the latest bulletin from the Directorate-General of Health (DGS)

Worldwide, the Covid-19 pandemic has so far claimed at least 787,918 lives and infected more than 22.4 million people in 196 countries and territories.