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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 269-276

Estimating the prevalence of COVID-19 disease and its effect among trainees in the endodontic postgraduate programs in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A web-based survey study

1 Restorative Dental Sciences College of Dentistry King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Dentistry, Endodontic Division, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Fahd Alsalleeh
Restorative Dental Sciences College of Dentistry King Saud University, P. O. Box 60169, Riyadh 11545
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sej.sej_60_22

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Introduction: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had a profound impact on dental care and academic education. This survey investigated the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic, symptoms, and its impact among endodontic trainees in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional web-based survey targeted all endodontic residents in Saudi Arabia. A 22-item questionnaire was distributed to a total of 197 participants. The questionnaire included questions related to demographic information, COVID-19 impact on endodontic postgraduate training, the incidence of testing positive, symptoms experienced, and infection control measures. Descriptive and analytic statistics (Chi-square or Fisher's exact test) were used for the analysis. The significance level was set at P ≤ 0.05. Results: A total of 125 residents completed the survey. During June and July of 2020, most residents (45% and 50%) were required to perform only urgent endodontic care. Among the 125 residents, 52.8% reported being tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Of these 66 who were tested, 13.6% had positive results. Eight of the nine residents who tested positive were male. Muscle pain, loss of smell and taste, fever, and headache were the most reported symptoms. A nonsurgical root canal treatment was the most common endodontic procedure performed among those surveyed (100%, n = 125), followed by endodontic emergency (84.8%, n = 106), with surgical endodontic treatment being far less frequent (27.2%, n = 34). Enhanced infection prevention and control measures were common practices during the pandemic; almost half of the residents reported using an N95 respirator or equivalent face mask. Residents continued to provide urgent care during the pandemic, and the majority returning gradually to practice as they had before the COVID-19 pandemic by December 2020. Conclusion: This survey showed a relatively low prevalence of COVID-19 among endodontic residents compared with other frontline healthcare workers. More male residents tested positive COVID-19. A more effective protection measurement should be made available and accessible to endodontic residents to ensure their safety and prevent interruptions to their clinical training.

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