COVID-19: What is or is not considered a dental emergency

dental emergency

A growing number of people experiencing dental problems during the COVID-19 pandemic have found themselves struggling with what to do. As part of the emergency measures, dentists in Quebec were told to cancel all non-urgent appointments, leaving many struggling, especially those with some pain or discomfort. Dental clinics are allowed to be open, but only for emergencies. However, patients need to contact their dentists first so that their problem can be assessed before being seen.

You can reach your dentist by telephone to be evaluated, a practice now being called telemedicine. You can check out the Dentist in huntington park – this is one of the things they initially adapted when the world went haywire due to the pandemic. You will be asked questions about the problem – and if it is not considered an emergency, you will be advised about what you should do until you can be seen. Some dentists are also using technology to help them make better assessments, such as having patients take pictures of their tooth in question or the area where they are experiencing problems – and then sending them through text messaging. So what is considered a dental emergency or what is not?

Are dentists open during COVID-19?

Dentists, like a Burlington emergency dentist and other local dental health professionals, are open during COVID-19. They’re considered frontliners, who safeguard public health, serving even during times of crisis. They have sworn to provide healthcare, most especially during emergency cases.

Although it is ultimately up to the dentist to decide if your problem is considered an emergency, it can include (but not limited to):

  • oral-facial trauma (injury to the mouth and face) not just a broken tooth
  • significant infection (such as a serious abscess or swelling)
  • bleeding that continues for a prolonged period of time
  • acute orthodontic procedures (such as pain, infection, trauma, wire cutting into the gum/cheek)
  • problems causing excruciating pain not being relieved by over-the-counter pain medications

When you present any of these signs and symptoms, make sure to contact the dental clinic as soon as possible. In this way, you can avoid major complications by getting prompt dental treatment from a qualified and experienced dentist.

It’s a good thing that telemedicine or telehealth services are now available, helping both dentists (and other healthcare workers) and patients during this time of pandemic. In a telemedicine session, the dentist can interview the patient (via videoconferencing) and assess if the situation is an emergency case or not. 

Not considered a dental emergency during COVID-19

Although it is ultimately up to the dentist to decide if your problem is considered a non-emergency, it can include (but not limited to):

  • removal of asymptomatic teeth (no pain/no swelling/no discomfort)
  • restorative dentistry, such as replacement of damaged dental fillings, crowns (caps), bridges and implants
  • orthodontic procedures (other than those to address acute issues)
  • replacement of teeth with implants or bridges
  • routine dental cleaning (scaling, polishing)
  • initial or periodic oral examinations and recall visits, including routine dental radiographs

The above examples aren’t life-threatening and mostly are for cosmetic purposes or to improve general appearance. Hence, the procedures for those scenarios can wait. In this way, the dentist can prioritize emergency cases first.

Most non-emergency dental cases can be set as ‘for appointment’ or schedule basis. Many dentists have online booking or appointment systems or apps in place for patients to see their available or free schedules. Of course, you can always call-in the dental clinic to set the appointment. 

If you your dentist advises you to go to their office or clinic, please make sure they are wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves, protective eyewear, masks and protective clothing – and that their hands have been washed with plain or antimicrobial soap and running water.

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