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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 975-979

Perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on orthodontic practice in the Middle East

1 Department of Orthodontics, Dentistry Program, Batterjee Medical College, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Dental Intern, Dentistry Program, Batterjee Medical College, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
3 General Dentist, Dentistry Program, Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Community Dentistry and Research, Dentistry Program, Batterjee Medical College, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Raghuveer Nallamothu
Department of Orthodontics, Dentistry Program, Batterjee Medical College, Jeddah-21442
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpbs.jpbs_146_21

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Background: With COVID-19 announced as a global pandemic, a countrywide lockdown was executed in many countries, including the Middle East. With no foregoing warning or expectation, orthodontic treatments were temporarily canceled as dental clinics and colleges were indefinitely closed. To the best of our knowledge, no study addresses the orthodontist perspective in such testing times, where they are entirely restricted to the confines of their homes. The study aims to assess the impact of the COVID-19-related lockdown on orthodontists and orthodontic postgraduate students' treatment and psychology. Materials and Methods: The survey participants consist of 315 orthodontists and orthodontic postgraduate residents from different Middle East countries. A pretested self-administered questionnaire was sent to the consenting participants through an online data collection platform (Google forms), covering participants' sociodemographics and participants' perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: A majority of the participants (87.61%) stated that the pandemic would permanently change their way of practicing orthodontics and also will lead to the reduction in the number of orthodontic patients in the future (78.73%), and a significant number of orthodontists (67.61%) has an opinion that the pandemic will not affect the viability of their profession. The majority of the respondents (88.57%) commented about the negative economic impact of COVID-19 on their income, and regarding the effect of COVID-19 on psychosocial well-being, 73.01% had experienced anxiety and depression, 88.25% were excited about the future of the profession, and 68.57% enjoyed the life with their family due to lockdown, and when asked about their social life with the family and friends, majority of the participants (66.34%) had an opinion that it has improved due to the increased free time. Conclusions: Most of the respondents reported perceived economic, psychosocial, and social impacts due to the pandemic.

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