The influence of COVID-19 pandemic on the access to dental offices and the development of oral medical conditions
Original Article, Pol J Public Health, Vol. 132 (2022): 60-63
Joanna Kowalewska, Kacper Kuśmirek
Students’ Scientific Association with the Department of Conservative Dentistry with Endodontics, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
© 2022 Medical University of Lublin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial-No Derivs licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/)
Introduction. Pathologies in the oral cavity are a visible problem in polish society. The knowledge regarding oral pathologies and a doctor-patient contact are necessary to diagnose and treat efficiently. COVID-19 pandemic limited this contact reducing health control that caused the development of new pathologies. Those limitations touched dentists making the efficient diagnosis and treatment difficult.
Aim. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of COVID-19 on the accessibility of dental procedures and the development of oral pathologies.
Material and methods. The survey took place during Students’ Science Club Fair at the Medical University in Lublin on 5th November 2021 and in the following days among students of the Medical University in Lublin and other universities in Poland. 102 respondents answered 8 questions anonymously.
Results. The answers’ analysis showed that 74,5% of the respondents do regular dental check-ups at least once a year. Due to the pandemic 27,5% had to change the date of at least one appointment. 47% admitted that the access to dental offices during the pandemic was difficult. 67,6% noticed the rise of the prices of dental procedures. 72,5% declared the lack of new oral pathologies and 26,5% confirmed the appearance of new symptoms in the oral cavity.
Conclusions. The high percentage of dentists in Poland explains why the society is used to an easy access to dental procedures. Dental offices’ accessibility was limited due to the pandemic which was felt by the respondents as a rise in prices and a decrease of the availability of the dentists in that period. Those limitations resulted in the diagnosis of new pathologies.
Keywords: COVID-19, accessibility, pathologies, oral health.