AGPs review ‘still valid’ despite rising COVID-19 cases, says specialist adviser
The conclusions reached by the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme’s ‘rapid review’ on the use of aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) are still valid, despite the recent rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, according to a member of its working group.
Derek Richards, Specialist Advisor to SDCEP and Director of the Centre for Evidence- based Dentistry, told Scottish Dental: “The agreed positions in the SDCEP document apply even though the numbers of COVID-19 cases is increasing at present. The risk of the dental team encountering an asymptomatic patient remains low until we reach levels of 500 cases per 100,000 and above.”
SDCEP, with the support of Cochrane Oral Health, conducted a rapid review of the evidence related to the mitigation of aerosol generating procedures in dentistry and the associated risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). In a statement SDCEP said: “It is important to stress that this document does not have the status of guidance.
“The aim of this rapid review was to identify and appraise the evidence related to several pre determined key questions about AGPs In dentistry and to use a process of considered judgement of this evidence and other relevant factors to reach agreed positions that may be used to inform policy and clinical guidance.”
A member of the review’s working group said that the report held out the hope of dentist activity increasing significantly, possibly to between 60 and 70 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels. “I truly believe that this Is the report the profession has been looking for,” said Mick Armstrong, former chair of the British Dental Association. “We now need and eagerly await Government policy.”