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From left: Dr. Keith Da Silva (DDS, MSc), Associate Professor (photo submitted) and Dr. Walter Siqueira (DDS, PhD), Associate Dean Academic (photo: David Stobbe) at the College of Dentistry receive SHRF grant.

College of Dentistry professors awarded grant to develop evidence-based COVID-19 clinical practice guidelines for dental treatment

College of Dentistry professors Dr. Keith Da Silva and Dr. Walter Siqueira are working on developing evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for dental healthcare workers to minimize the risk of COVID-19.

Dr. Keith Da Silva (DDS, MSc) and Dr. Walter Siqueira (DDS, PhD) have recently been awarded a Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) grant to support oral healthcare in Saskatchewan by developing evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission during dental treatment.

The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, required all dental practices in the Province of Saskatchewan to be closed in early March, due to the airborne transmission of the virus and the generation of aerosols during routine dental procedures. Now that dental practices are set to reopen, more information is needed in order to protect the safety of patients and oral healthcare workers.

Given the novelty of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, there currently isn’t universally accepted guidelines on the changes that will be required in dentistry to minimize the risk of virus transmission via aerosol-generating dental procedures. Drs. Da Silva and Siqueira aim to provide that to oral healthcare workers by reviewing and consolidating the best available evidence and quickly and efficiently disseminating the resulting recommendations.

Dr. Da Silva, an assistant professor at the College of Dentistry, said of the project, “On almost a daily basis, we are seeing new guidelines, and/or recommendations being put forth on how to safely resume dental care across the globe during COVID-19 pandemic. I think now more than ever, there is a need for a resource where this new information can be rapidly appraised in real-time and be made accessible to regulatory authorities and dental clinicians.”

For more information on the research project, visit https://www.shrf.ca/covid-19 

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