You probably already know it. That the dull ache underneath that tooth won’t subside on its own. That chipped tooth will only get worse if it continues to go untreated. That uncomfortable sensitivity to hot or cold food or drink will only increase in severity. Yet, as the world hunkers down to wait out the current coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, many Americans are wrestling with a crucial question, “is my dental problem urgent enough to seek treatment now?”
Key Points About Emergency Dental Care During the Pandemic
- Emergency dental services are considered essential services during the pandemic.
- Dentists are suspending elective procedures at this time during the pandemic.
- You must meet specific criteria to be seen by a dentist on an emergency basis.
- Dental offices are taking additional precautions to implement infection control measures during the pandemic to keep patients and staff safe.
Learn what qualifies as a dental emergency and better understand what dental offices are doing during the Covid-19 outbreak to accommodate patients and protect patients and staff during the pandemic.
Note: This content does not constitute medical advice. Talk with a doctor about your primary care physician about your personal risks to the Covid-19 outbreak to inform your decision of whether or not you’re healthy enough to interact with strangers.
Can I See a Dentist If I Am Currently Under Order to Shelter in Place?
Yes, you can you are able to visit your dentist if your condition qualifies as a legitimate emergency. Emergency dental care is considered an essential service during the pandemic. However, the American Dental Association has called on dentists nationwide to suspend all elective procedures until further notice.
In states and municipalities under order to shelter in place, dentists have been urged by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to suspend non-emergency dental services to limit person-to-person contact.
What Qualifies as a Dental Emergency?
Broadly, a dental emergency is any oral-facial issue, including facial trauma, that is extremely time sensitive – that is, any issue affecting your mouth or facial bones that’ll become much worse if you don’t act soon.
The things that make a dental issue an emergency are elevated pain and increased vulnerability:
- Severe or unrelenting pain
- The presence of an infection
- The threat of near- or long-term consequences due to a lack of treatment
What Should I Do If I’m On a Long-Term Treatment Plan?
Call your dentist to get guidance on what you can do at home to maintain the progress you’ve made during treatment until normalcy returns and you can resume treatment. If your treatment is considered an “elective procedure,” your emergency dentist will likely ask you to hold off until they restore normal operations.
What If My Issue is Urgent, But Not an Emergency?
Consider telemedicine. As movement across the country continues to tighten, dentists are increasingly adjusting to these limitations by offering virtual consultations. You may be able to get a preliminary exam via a mobile device, laptop or desktop computer equipped with a camera and microphone. It may be the next best thing to a 24-hour emergency dentist for the time being.
What Can I Do At Home If I’m in Self-Isolation Due to the Coronavirus?
The best things you can do to maintain your dental health at home are pretty much things we should all be doing daily: brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash twice every day.
What Are Dental Offices Doing to Minimize the Risk of Infection for Patients and Staff?
Like other small and midsize businesses, emergency dentists have been following the CDC’s Infection Control guidelines to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.
These measures include increasing the frequency of cleaning, taking extra care in sanitizing high tough points and minimizing person to person contact. Some dental offices are updating their websites with projected wait times for patients and are offering virtual consultations.
Dr. Kevin Hogan is receiving patients for emergency dental care during the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, contact our office to discuss your situation and we will make arrangement to see you on an emergency basis. During this time, we are taking additional precautions and implementing additional infection control measures to keep our staff and patients safe. If you have further questions about how we are responding during the COVID-19 pandemic, please give us a call and we will be happy to share with you the additional steps are currently taking.
Call for an Appointment
If you are ready to explore ways to rejuvenate your smile, or you just need a cleaning and x-rays, call today for a free consultation or to schedule an appointment. Dr. Kevin Hogan graduated from the Indiana University School of Dentistry and has over 40 years of experience. He completed continuing education at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, a world-renowned comprehensive and aesthetic dentistry center. He has also finished extensive coursework with the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation and lectured at both North Carolina and Emory University.
He is known for his artistic skill, professionalism, and ability to find the right solution for an array of dental challenges. Dr. Kevin Hogan is a cosmetic and restorative dentist serving patients in Mt. Pleasant South Carolina and the greater Charleston, SC areas.