Summary of European guidelines on infection control and prevention during COVID-19 pandemic

Kathrin Becker, Katarzyna Gurzawska-Comis, Giulia Brunello, Björn Klinge

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OBJECTIVES: The current COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for a review of guidelines on infection control and prevention to ensure safe delivery of dental care. However, it is not clear to what extent the rapidly published European guidelines reflect the current evidence and thus provide homogeneous recommendations.

MATERIAL & METHODS: Guidelines from all European Union countries, Scotland, Switzerland and United Kingdom were retrieved. Information on triage, mouth rinse, personal protective equipment (PPE) for aerosol free/ generating procedures (non-AGP/AGP) and treatment of potentially infectious patients were summarized and compared with recommendations from international organizations (WHO, ECDC, CDC).

RESULTS: All included countries (30/30) published COVID-19 guidelines in 2020. All countries recommended triage and to postpone non-urgent treatment of potentially infectious patients. Hydrogen peroxide (1%-1.5%) was the most frequently recommended antiseptic mouth rinse to reduce viral load (24/30). PPE for non-AGP treatments included mainly surgical masks (21/30) or FFP2/FFP3/N95 masks (16/30), whereas FFP2/FFP3 masks (25/30) and face shields (24/30) were recommended for AGP by the vast majority of guidelines. For high-risk/COVID positive patients, most countries recommended maximum protection and treatment in specialized dental clinics (22/30).

CONCLUSION: There was general agreement among recommendations for triage, mouth rinse, and PPE during AGP and treatment of potentially infectious patients. In contrast, recommendations on PPE for non-AGP treatment varied considerably among the European countries possibly due to limited scientific evidence regarding transmission risk during non-AGP treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-381
Number of pages29
JournalClinical Oral Implants Research
Issue numberS21
Early online date30 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Authors. Clinical Oral Implants Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • COVID-19
  • Humans
  • Infection Control
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional
  • Pandemics/prevention & control
  • SARS-CoV-2


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