COVID-19 Pandemic impact on Brazil’s Public Dental System

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The present study aimed to estimate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on dental care procedures in the Public Health System in Brazil. A retrospective, ecological study was carried out, comprising 5,564 Brazilian municipalities. The number of dental procedures (per 100,000 inhabitants) performed in the Brazilian Public Health System (SUS) was the outcome. The impact of the pandemic was estimated by comparing the rate of procedures for each month of 2020 with the rates observed in the equivalent months in 2019, considering the period from March to August. Regulatory legislation regarding restrictions on dental care, issued by the state governments of 27 Brazilian federative units, was used for mediation analysis. A 55% reduction was observed in March for all procedures (IRR = 0.45, 95%CI 0.39-0.51), while in the other months, the rate of reduction remained ≥ 88%. The biggest decrease was observed in collective preventive procedures (reduction ≥99%) between April and August. Procedures that were less likely to generate aerosols (tooth extraction and prosthetic) and emergencies showed the smallest reduction. The reduction was not mediated by the restrictions imposed by state governments (p>0.05). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was noteworthy in terms of the decrease in the number of dental procedures carried out in the Brazilian Public Dental Service. The lack of access, the delay of elective procedures and the lack of preventive collective procedures could result in an overburdened system, post-Pandemic.




Chisini, L. A., dos Santos Costa, F., Sartori, L. R. M., Corrêa, M. B., D’avila, O. P., & Demarco, F. F. (2021). COVID-19 Pandemic impact on Brazil’s Public Dental System. Brazilian Oral Research, 35, 1–11.

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