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Economic Implications

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Studies have reported the spread of the novel coronavirus via air droplets and these aerosols could be implicated in the spread of several diseases including the covid-19 virus. Hence, several health regulatory bodies around the world have advised dental health professionals against performing regular elective dental treatment procedures.

The registered dentists were informed to provide only emergency dental treatment in an attempt to limit the exposure of the dentist to the covid-19 virus. Studies have reported that dentists are expecting a 70% financial loss this year. Moreover, to prevent the transmission of the disease from the patient to the dentist, there arises a need for the use of additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and restructuring of clinical spaces in certain cases.

To address these issues and concerns, the governments of several high-income countries have extended their financial support to dental practices that are willing to reimburse dentists due to the losses from the COVID-19 outbreak. On the other hand, no measures to address these concerns have been proposed in low-income and middle-income countries.

The dentists should evaluate overhead costs that full recovery post reopening the practices would take up to 18 months to establish 70-80% of the income prior to the pandemic. The fact that most patients may not be able to afford the entire treatment costs and could work by offering discounts, working on payment installments, or proposing coinsurance plans.

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