1. Dentists as superheroes in the Fight Against the Virus by Professor Damien Walmsley (Head of Teaching Unit of the Prosthetics Dentistry department at UoB)

This super fun and light read highlights some key considerations to make regarding the provision of Dentistry amid the pandemic. A nice point to prompt some further thoughts as Professor Walmsley shares his own. Please note this was written quite early on during the UK lockdown.

2. Emerging and Future challenges for Dental and Oral Medicine by L. Meng et al. (from the Journal of Dental Research)

Clear subheadings and helpful figures. At times focuses more specifically on the response in China, but the background scientific information and strategies/problems faced by dental professionals/schools can also be paralleled to some of the same issues in the UK.

It is interesting to know how the profession was impacted and adapted in Wuhan itself. Please note this was first published in mid-March this year.

3. What about Paediatric Dentistry during the COVID-19 Crisis…

Characteristics in children and considerations for dentists providing their care by SK Mallineni et al (from the International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry)

An easy to grasp and detailed article, was first published in early April this year, so it acknowledges that data was/still is be collated regarding the susceptibility of children and further data on the spread of disease amongst children affected by COVID-19 is also needed.

It breakdowns the topic into clear subheadings and recognises that a minimally invasive approach will likely form a more important part the decision making process for the foreseeable future.

4. Possible aerosol transmission of COVID-19 and special precautions in Dentistry by Zi-yu GE et al (Journal of Zhejiang University – Biomedicine & Biotechnology)

This is quite a lengthy read but explains the implications of aerosol transmissions in dentistry – why transmission of diseases through droplets and aerosols is significant and also covers precautions that can be taken in the dental setting to manage these.

Specifically covers measures taken in dental settings in China in some sections but an interesting read, nonetheless. Has a great diagram showing how infections can be transmitted in dental settings. Please note, it was published in Mid-March.

5. Dentistry and coronavirus – moral decision making by Paul Coulthard (from the British Dental Journal)

Nicely covers where dentistry fits in the context of this global pandemic and highlights an array of key topics such as PPE, volunteering, and redeployment. Out of all the recommended articles this was the easiest to follow and is concise source of information. Published in April.

6. GDC response during the COVID19 pandemic by Seb Evans (from Dentistry.co.uk)

An example of the thoughts of many within the profession regarding the actions of professional bodies. Although many people may feel this way, and you may also have your own thoughts, try not to be influenced too heavily by any one stance over another, everyone’s opinions have a place and justification. The actions of governing bodies during the COVID crisis can be quite a topical issue so try to maintain a neutral but fair stance where possible.

I found this a very interesting and strongly written, insightful read.

Dentistry.co.uk is a very helpful site to use, the information is not too long or confusing. Good to get quick current information. Other interesting articles include…

a) Oral Hygiene and COVID-19

b) One Hour Fallow Period – is it necessary?

c) How might the global pandemic impact the future of dentistry?

d) How prepared is dentistry for a second wave?

My Personal Favourites:

Impact of the risk of COVID-19 on BAME members of the UK Dental Profession by Trivedy, Mills and Dhanoya (from the British Dental Journal)

Looks at the claims that the BAME groups are at increased risk of mortality associated with COVID and also the deaths of healthcare workers in the UK related to COVID. Emphasises the urgent need for professional bodies, the NHS and government to recognise the increased vulnerability of BAME healthcare workers and therefore the need for measures to effectively manage these risks.

The article is easy to follow and has clear subheadings to help you follow the thought processes of the writers. Has a nice layout with a key points section. Was published at the end of June.

COVID-19 and medical emergencies in the dental practice by Jevon and Shamsi (from the British Dental Journal)

Dental teams must always be equipped to deal with medical emergencies that may occur within the settings of general (practice but as the background section of this article highlights) the management of these in the midst of a global pandemic means that slight modifications will be required.

You do not need to know the ins and outs of the special considerations that need to be made when managing these emergencies, but a basic awareness may be insightful. Especially as work experience will be difficult to obtain for a while, so knowing how dental teams will be adjusting to the current circumstances will be useful to know about.

It can be really easy to get overwhelmed reading about this topic regardless of whether you are an aspiring dental applicant, a current student or even a qualified Dentist (it really can seem like there’s always a new article, video or resource being put out there).

You’re not alone.

Take a deep breath and take it at your own pace, you do not need to be an expert on any of this & there is no need to overprepare when reading around this topic.

Everything is good in moderate.

Just pick a few sources here and there, that REALLY do peak your interests (this still counts as reading around!), that way you will hopefully enjoy it and take more on board!

Words: Karishma Dewitt