Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 297-298  

Speculation (S) versus anticipation (A) versus reality (R) - Corona Virus-2

Editor, Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, Professor, Department of Periodontics, Dental College, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Lamphelpat, Imphal - 795 004, Manipur, India

Date of Web Publication01-Jul-2020

Correspondence Address:
Ashish Kumar
Editor, Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, Professor, Department of Periodontics, Dental College, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Lamphelpat, Imphal - 795 004, Manipur
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jisp.jisp_373_20

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How to cite this article:
Kumar A. Speculation (S) versus anticipation (A) versus reality (R) - Corona Virus-2. J Indian Soc Periodontol 2020;24:297-8

How to cite this URL:
Kumar A. Speculation (S) versus anticipation (A) versus reality (R) - Corona Virus-2. J Indian Soc Periodontol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Jan 28];24:297-8. Available from:

The title of this editorial partially matches the name of the most talked about virus these days. Speculating and writing about Corona virus is the most “in-thing” in the dental journals now-a-days.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the name of the virus, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the disease and Corona is the common “street” name. There is no doubt that SARS-CoV-2 virus has wreaked havoc all over the world creating a public health crisis.

It is an unprecedented situation. When we are faced with such a situation, every aspect of life gets affected. Obviously when lives of innumerable people are at stake, profession getting affected is a very small facet of it. Who would have thought that India would come to “standstill” in their wildest of the dreams?

When some circumstances bring life or anything to halt, we must understand that it will take its own “sweet” time to come back to normalcy. When you apply sudden brakes to a vehicle, and then reaccelerate it, you will have to negotiate and drive through the obstacles carefully and then it will slowly get back to the speed you want after some time, once you have driven it for some distance. Dentistry is in same situation now-a-days.

The fact is that our lives, both personal and professional, are faced with a situation which requires us to be vigilant. When we are in an unknown territory, we must observe, think and act sensibly to the emerging situation but not speculate.

No one in the world has any definitive idea about how this disease and virus will play out in the field of dentistry in general and periodontology in particular. Can anyone explain us what effect will this disease have on the pathogenesis of periodontal disease? Can anyone tell how treatment protocols will change? Can anyone guide us, obviously with evidence, about which mouth wash would be effective for pre-procedural mouth rinsing before the dental and periodontal treatment? Has anyone scientifically examined the effect of any mouthwash on SARS-CoV-2? How many people are practicing dentistry at this time and more importantly, how many people have treated COVID-19 cases to say that it spreads through dental procedures?

Many people have tried to answer these and many other questions and reason out, but without evidence. I am not at all saying that it does spread or it doesn't. I have no answers. But I am not speculating.

This speculation will harm a lot of dentists and will in turn benefit many companies who are trying to “cash in” on this fear of infection by introducing new unproven materials and equipments.

Most of the literature, guidelines, information coming out at this time in relation to dentistry is the realm of speculation, opinions and information extrapolated to be applied to dentistry without any real evidence.

We have to be careful seeing the spread of the infection and considering that there may be lot of asymptomatic patients. We need to take standard precautions and concentrate on sterilization and disinfection, as suggested by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Although, we should be concentrating on sterilization and disinfection during our regular practices also whether pandemic exists or not.

We need to take positive out of negative things. One good change which we are witnessing, is, the sensitization of every dentist in India towards importance of sterilization and disinfection due to this pandemic. And this is no speculation. As many vaccines give us lifelong immunity by sensitization, I sincerely hope that this sensitization towards effective sterilization and disinfection remains with everyone throughout their professional life.

I think we should wait for the evidence to come in before we speculate on any aspect of the disease. I feel the real impact will come when dentistry starts again in its full “glory” and real data will start getting collected after treatment of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients begins.

Unfortunately, our country has huge number of COVID-19 patients. We should concentrate on conducting proper research to study its effects on oral tissues and other dental diseases. We can easily study the effectiveness of various protective equipments which are flooding the market today and come out with guidelines for such equipments for dentistry and dental industry to follow. We can create huge database by research and suggest standard operating procedures (with evidence), to be followed by everyone during similar situations. Such a research at this juncture will prepare us for any future calamities to come, if any. Such preparedness with scientific database and evidence will not bring our profession to “standstill” again.

While we need to follow our standard operating procedures, we also need to think logically before taking any decisions. If we want any information, we need to look at credible sources and literature for correct guidance.

Let us not speculate, but, judiciously anticipate the changes that may occur, and, live in reality dealing effectively with existing situation. George Earle Buckle rightly said that “in practical life the wisest and soundest people avoid speculation.”

Patience is the key in these difficult times.

“Instead of indulging in mere speculation, devote yourself here and now to the search for the Truth that is ever with you.”

- Ramana Maharshi


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