Introduction. Disease outbreak due to novel pathogens is a global challenge to public health. Coronaviruses are a class of pathogens that have been responsible for repeated disease outbreaks in the recent past. This study tries to identify the COVID-19 pandemic influence on patient’s utilization of dental services and to find a solution. The main source of information regarding perceptions on barriers is the dental patients themselves. Hence, the authors have recorded the responses from a sample of dental patients from a dental clinic attached to a private dental institute in Jeddah. This study is novel, as no other investigations were conducted in the population in Jeddah. Aim: The study aims at assessing the barriers to the utilization of dental services during the COVID 19 pandemic. Materials and methods. This is a descriptive cross-sectional study. The method of sampling used was applied on a sample of patients from a private dental school. The distribution of the questionnaire was done electronically through google docs distributed through WhatsApp. Results and discussion. The participants responding to the survey were 283 out of 340. The response rate of the survey was 91%. Nearly 50% of the participants had no knowledge about the precautions to be taken when coming to the dental practitioner. The main reason/ barrier of dental services utilization, according to the study, is fear of Covid-19 transmission [164 (58.2%)]. The second reason is offered by people not having symptoms to visit a dentist [94 (33.3%)]. Also, the high cost of dental treatment was a barrier [67 (23.8%)]. The first reason of using technology for dental consultations of COVID-19 pandemic was safety, as it reduces the risk of its spreading, as responded by 77 (27.2%) patients in our study. Conclusions. Dental health care system has been compromised during the pandemic of COVID 19. The best alternative for patients visiting the dental clinic is to incorporate tele-dentistry into dental practice.Keywords:
- dental patients.