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Article: Volume 48 Number 7 Page 585 - July/August 2021

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  Dental Update 491: 585-590

COVID-19:  COVID-19: oral manifestations

CPD:  CPD  0:24   (closed)      Self assess

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Abstract: It is clear that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) will be with us for the foreseeable future, possibly entrenched as an endemic infection. This poses a grave threat for clinical dental practice as asymptomatic (viral) carriers unknowing of their status, may attend for treatment with the possibility of resultant disease spread to non-immune individuals in the clinic. Even if one is immune through vaccination, the temporal waning of protective antibodies may lead to mild–moderate variant-induced infection, as shown in a number of recent studies. Hence, it is likely that rapid and accurate identification of COVID-19 patients at the point-of-care (POC), that is in the clinic or during the pre-attendance period, will be a critical imperative in the foreseeable future, as a secondary safeguard, in addition to successful vaccination. There are now an array of POC diagnostic tests to detect SARS-CoV-2, and here we summarize their salient features, and the potential utility as an infection control measure in dentistry.

Clinical relevance: To describe the currently available POC diagnostic tests for COVID-19, and their utility as a critical infection control measure during dental care delivery in the immediate post-pandemic period.

Author notes: Lakshman Samaranayake, DDS, FRCPath, FDSRCPS, FDSRCS (Ed) Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Hong Kong. Niraj Kinariwala, BDS, MDS, Associate Professor, Karnavati School of Dentistry, Karnavati University, Gujarat, India. email:

Objective: To highlight potential point-of-care tests and their modes of action.