COVID-19 as an opportunity for minimally-invasive dentistry: a national cross-sectional survey

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BACKGROUND: During the COVID19 pandemic, the Latvian government issued first absolute restrictions (elective treatments prohibited, only emergency care) and later relative restrictions (preference for non-aerosol-generating procedures (AGP) and emergency care) on dental care. This study aims to assess the impact of these restrictions on the decision made by Latvian dentists about caries treatment.

METHODS: A Survey-based cross-sectional study was used. A minimum sample size of 174 dentists was estimated for national representativeness (N = 1524). The questionnaire was developed by experts and sent three times via email to Latvian dentists from July to September 2020 and was also delivered in printed form at two national conferences in September and October 2020. Descriptive statistics were calculated.

RESULTS: We received 373 completed questionnaires, with a total response rate of 24.5%. Under the recommendation to reduce AGP for the treatment of uncomplicated caries, 10% of the dentists stated that they would stop attending, 54% would only attend emergencies, and 36% would attend as usual. Under prohibition, the percentages are 15%, 74%, and 11%, respectively. Regarding the type of treatment, more than 75% would opt to proceed with selective caries removal for both primary and permanent teeth and 10% for extraction.

CONCLUSION: Latvian dentists are willing to treat patients with caries during the pandemic and state that they prefer to use non- or minimally invasive and less aerosol-generating methods for caries treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number394
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Oral Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2022


  • Covid-19
  • Decision-making
  • Dental caries
  • Dentistry

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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