Many states have issued shelter-in-place orders to prevent the movement and spread of COVID-19. Their orders have led to countless businesses temporarily shutting their doors in an effort to keep communities safe. Fortunately, that’s not exactly that case with your emergency dentist. Read on to learn about what services your dentist is providing at these unpredictable times and when you need to visit them for urgent treatment.
Are Dentists Open During COVID-19?
The ADA has released an official statement urging all dentists to postpone elective procedures until further notice. This is an effort to reduce the amount of traffic in common areas such as waiting rooms, protecting patients and staff. However, although their doors may look closed, they’re still open for patients who need emergency and time-sensitive treatments. By doing this, dentists are able to reduce the number of patients seeking care from local emergency rooms that are overwhelmed with patients who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and provide non-ill patients with the specialized care that they need for their unique situation.
What Services Aren’t Emergent?
If you’re diligent about scheduling your routine preventive appointments with your dentist, like your checkup and cleaning, you won’t be able to receive this care until the shelter-in-place orders are lifted because it’s considered elective, or non-emergent. Here are some other treatments that your dentist won’t be conducting during the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to keep patients and staff safe:
- Orthodontic treatments that don’t address pain
- Extraction of teeth that aren’t showing severe symptoms
- Cosmetic dental treatments
- Restorative dentistry
When Should I Visit My Dentist If I’m Self-Isolating?
If you’re self-isolating and aren’t sure whether or not your situation could be considered an emergency, you can always contact your local dentist to get their opinion. Many emergency dentists are also offering over-the-phone first-aid guidance and screenings as well to minimize the number of patients visiting their office for treatment. Here are some services and issues that your dentist is addressing during the shelter-in-place orders:
- Severe dental damage
- Knocked-out teeth
- Inflamed and painful gums
- Dry socket dressing changes
- Pain and swelling caused by a tooth infection
- A fractured tooth that’s causing pain
- Any dental treatment that’s required before a critical medical procedure can take place
- Denture adjustments that improve the function of the restoration
- Replacing temporary restorations for patients experiencing pain
Dental emergencies can happen at any moment, and if they aren’t addressed in a timely manner, they can often lead to issues that are more serious and harder to treat down the road. Your emergency dentist is taking extra precautionary measures to ensure that their patients stay safe and healthy, so there’s no need to worry when you visit their office for urgent care.
About the Author
Dr. Shanaka Weerasooriya is passionate about creating long-term relationships with his patients and truly getting to know them. He has years of experience handling a wide range of dental emergencies, allowing him to quickly and effectively treat mild, moderate, and severe urgent situations. He regularly takes continuing education courses to stay up to date with the latest technology and techniques in dentistry. For questions or to schedule an emergency appointment during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit Tarpon Shores Dental’s website or call 941-474-9548.