Introduction: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) initiated a rapid review of the evidence related to the generation and mitigation of aerosols in dental practice. To support this review, a survey was distributed to better understand the provision of aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) in dentistry.

Methods: An online questionnaire was distributed to dental professionals asking about their current practice and beliefs about AGPs. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis.

Results: Analysis revealed confusion and uncertainty regarding mitigation of AGPs. There was also frustration and scepticism over the risk of SARS-COV-2 transmission within dental settings, the evidence underpinning the restrictions and the leadership and guidance being provided, as well as concern over financial implications and patient and staff safety.

Discussion: The frustration and concerns expressed by respondents mirrored findings from other recent studies and suggest there is a need for reflection within the profession so that lessons can be learned to better support staff and patients.

Conclusion: Understanding the profession's views about AGP provision contributed to the SDCEP rapid review and provides insights to help inform policymakers and leaders in anticipation not only of future pandemics but in considering the success of any large scale and/or rapid organisational change.


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Cite as

Cousins, M., Patel, K., Araujo, M., Beaton, L., Scott, C., Stirling, D., Young, L. & Knights, J. 2022, 'A qualitative analysis of dental professionals' beliefs and concerns about providing aerosol generating procedures early in the COVID-19 pandemic', BDJ Open, 14 Jan 2022, 8(2). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41405-022-00094-9

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Last updated: 02 June 2023
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