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PIHO Dental Services in Fars, Hormuzgan Provinces

The heads of the dental services of the Petroleum Industry Health Organization (PIHO) in for Hormuzgan and Fars provinces, Iraj Rahimi and Amir-Reza Ronaqi, have said since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, 6,332 dentistry services had been provided to those who had referred to dentists.
In the wake of the outbreak of covid-19, all activities, except for businesses directly related to basic necessities, came to a halt. However, after the end of New Year vacations, low-risk businesses were allowed to open.
Among healthcare services that were categorized as high-risk was dentistry. Private dentists were banned from activity until recently, but gradually with the application of health protocols, emergency cases were treated.
Rahimi, himself a dentist, said the PIHO branch of Fars Province had 12 dentistry units.   
“Before the covid-19 outbreak, general and specialized services were offered at the morning and evening shifts. The services included dental repair, root canal therapy, dental surgery, pulling out tooth, gum surgery, scaling, gingival curettage, fluoride therapy of milky teeth, fissure sealant, pulpotomy of milky teeth as well as providing training on dental health and protection,” he added.
Rahimi said screening staff, retirees and their families is done regularly on a daily basis. 
However, he added, due to the high risk of covid-10 transmission in dentistry, routine dental services were banned and everything was limited to emergency cases.
“Over this time, two dentists were present in the morning shift and one in the evening shift to deal with emergency cases in full compliance with health protocols,” said Rahimi.
Despite the coronavirus, 3,260 cases were recorded until August. Furthermore, the bills of 1,141 patients were endorsed.
He said after the preparation of infrastructure and respecting requirements in line with Health Ministry protocols, the dental section of PIHO in Fars Province reopened in both morning and evening shifts.  
“In the first phase of reopening, general services were provided to the patients. They included dental repair, pulling out teeth, dental surgery, pulpotomy and repairing milky teeth,” he added. 
“We are making efforts to provide specialized dental services to the petroleum industry staff and their families as soon as necessary conditions are provided,” said Rahimi.
Explaining about the process of work in the dental section, he said: “At entry, the patients in full compliance with social distancing are subject to triage and screening. Then, the special covid-19 screening form is filled out. Hand sanitizer and mouthwash are provided to the patients.”
“Then, the patients are admitted and undergo examination. Once clinical exam has been done and radiography has been carried out, the patient is provided with a health plan and an appointment is set for him,” said Rahimi. 
“We are doing our best to fully and precisely respect health protocols and our patients can refer to dentists without any problem to benefit from services,” he said. 
“I feel obliged to offer my gratitude to our dentists and their assistants for their endeavor in helping patients despite the grave coronavirus conditions. The supervisor of the dentistry section has been also making necessary preparations and responding to needs,” said Rahimi.
Requiring the patients to stick with health protocols, he expressed hope for the removal of the coronavirus in the shortest possible time.
For his part, Ronaqi said the services provided in Hormuzgan Province were limited to emergency cases.
He said 1,858 patients were recorded in the new calendar year with 252 invoices having been endorsed. He said a year ago, 5,681 patients had referred during the same period with 487 invoices having been endorsed.
Touching on efforts to prevent covid-19 transmission at dentist’s offices, he said: “Due to the expansion of viral contagious diseases, particularly covid-19, in recent months, it was necessary to honor health instructions. Respiratory health and hand cleanness have been instrumental in preventing the transmission of viral diseases like covid-19 and flu.”
“Hand sanitizers are available in the halls and also on the tables for public use. We have also limited the number of persons accompanying the patients. Only one person can come with the patient,” said Ronaqi.
He expressed hope that all patients would respect social distancing and other health principles so that the transmission chain of this disease would be broken soon.
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Oct 4, 2020 10:16
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