The COVID-19 Pandemic: When To Seek Emergency Dental Help

person with a medical mask onYou’ve likely noticed that all of your local businesses and companies are shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including your dentist. Even though they have been instructed to hold off on providing any non-urgent treatments and services, they’re still open as an emergency dentist. If you’re unsure of whether or not the problem that you have on your hands would need urgent treatment, read below to learn how you can tell.

Why Are Dentists Closed?

Dentists across the country have closed at the recommendation of their local state dental associations as well as the American Dental Association. The official statements from the ADA states that they “recommend dentists nationwide postpone elective procedures for the next three weeks. Concentrating on emergency dental care will allow us to care for our emergency patients and alleviate the burden that dental emergencies would place on hospital emergency departments.” Unfortunately, this has many patients worried about the state of their oral health, but the plan is to continue regular care as soon as possible without risking the safety of patients and dental professionals.

What are Non-Urgent Dental Problems?

Sometimes, it can be hard to tell what a non-urgent dental situation is and what requires immediate care. Here are some issues that would be considered non-urgent and could wait until your dentist opens back up their doors to provide other treatments:

  • Routine checkups and cleanings
  • Orthodontic procedures that don’t address pain
  • Follow-up visits
  • Extraction of teeth that aren’t exhibiting any symptoms of pain or discomfort
  • Restorative dental procedures
  • Cosmetic dental treatments.

If you believe that you could have a dental emergency but aren’t 100 percent sure, contact your local dentist in Carrollton. Their team will be able to assess the situation over the phone and let you know whether your problem could result in pain or even more damage down the road.

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

The first sign that you’re experiencing a dental emergency is if you feel any pain or discomfort. Typically, when you feel as though something is seriously wrong, it usually is. Here are some examples provided by the ADA that warrant emergency dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Dental trauma (broken, chipped, or fractured teeth) that causes pain
  • Wisdom tooth pain
  • A severe toothache caused by an infection
  • Swollen gums
  • Dental treatment that’s required before a serious medical procedure can be completed
  • Placement of permanent restorations if temporary ones are lost or damaged
  • Biopsy of suspicious oral tissue
  • Extensive dental decay that’s causing pain
  • Suture removal
  • Denture adjustments to fix the function of the restorations

Even though it may be tempting to “ride out” your dental emergency in hopes that it takes care of itself on its own, that likely only results in additional oral damage down the road. That’s why if you’re ever in doubt, contact your emergency dentist’s office right away. They’ll be able to provide you with over-the-phone first-aid guidance and make sure that you get the timely care you need.

About the Author

Dr. Kimberley Capua has been practicing dentistry since 1991. She enjoys providing her patients with much-needed relief from pain caused by stressful dental emergencies. During COVID-19, she will be providing fast and effective emergency dental services so her patients won’t have to worry about travelling out of town to find relief. She is also permitted to perform sedation dentistry to help her patients who feel stressed and anxious remain comfortable while receiving the care they need. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit her website or call 972-418-1811.