The good, the bad and the ugly – dentistry and COVID-19: an uncomfortable alliance

26 June 2020
7 min read
Published:

It is incredibly difficult to write an article about my return to work experiences without adding to the mountain of depressive news and articles that litter our physical and electronic existence. I, for one, find myself exasperated by the sheer volume of negativity surrounding dentistry in 2020, and here I am, on the precipice of adding to it! I’ll start with what my reality has been, then turn my attention to more positive matters.

Buried alive

As we emerge from being buried alive by an avalanche of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), what has occurred to me most strikingly is that there is nothing standard about our operating environment at all. The human factors involved in how patient-centred dentistry is delivered means standardisation of anything in a dental clinic is incredibly challenging – and attempting to implement standardised procedures can be incredibly stress inducing. We spend our days being flexible, thinking on our feet, problem solving and communicating – and all with a fluid blend of carefully mastered skills and experience. Suddenly, we have found all we hold true to be under threat from COVID-19 and its fallout, with an overbearing requirement to adapt rapidly to the consequences.

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