Dental clinics urged to adopt COVID-Free Setting to bring back patients

Senior medical personnel gather to mark the birthday of Her Royal Highness Princess Srinagarindra who was regarded as the mother of Thailand’s dentistry.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to fewer patients visiting their dentists out of infection concerns. The Department of Health is recommending dental clinics adopt the COVID-Free Setting guideline to boost patients’ confidence.

The Department of Health is asking for cooperation from dental clinics in Thailand to adopt the COVID-Free Setting health and hygiene guideline in order to regain patients’ confidence.

The department’s Director-General Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai said the number of visits to dental clinics has seen a decline, with the rate of adults dropping to 33.7% this year from 52.2% in 2020, while the rate of elders declined from 42.4% to 36.5%.

He said the implementation of COVID-Free Setting measures at clinics will help ensure safety for both the staff and patients, with a focus on a safe environment and safe practices.

The guideline calls for frequent disinfecting of waiting areas, touch surfaces, and x-ray machines every 1-2 hours or after use; the implementation of an appointment system to prevent crowding, and a requirement for all staff members and patients to be fully vaccinated.

Patients who have yet to receive their two COVID-19 jabs can still visit the clinics, provided they take a COVID-19 antigen test prior to service.

The Ministry of Public Health will be providing free dental services at public dental facilities across the country on 21 October, which is National Dental Hygiene Day.

The day marks the birthday of Her Royal Highness Princess Srinagarindra. The late Princess was regarded as the mother of Thailand’s dentistry. (NNT)