BACKGROUND: COVID -19 pandemic has imposed multiple questions and consideration in the minds of the patients and dental professionals . The understanding of patient's perceptions and dental services utilization can aid in modifying the pre-existing dental practices . The aim of the present study was to assess the awareness, perceptions and dental services utilization by patients visiting a tertiary care centre during COVID-19 .
METHODOLOGY: A cross-sectional study on 437 patients was carried using a validated questionnaire consisting of 22 questions on three domains . Strict sterilization protocol and infection control measures were practiced to avoid any contact between the investigator and the patient .
RESULTS: Patients were aware of COVID -19 pandemic and were willing (76.7 %) to inculcate preventive practices even post-pandemic . Concerns regarding the spread of infection (37.3 %) and hygiene/cleanliness (28.6 %) were most commonly reported . Patients visited the dental centre primarily for emergency management and preferred their queries being solved on the phone .
CONCLUSION: Patients had a positive outlook towards visiting the dental centre for treatment in the near future and did not report any anxiety before visiting a dental centre.