The ongoing Covid-19 epidemic is affecting our lives in almost every possible way, and that also includes our dental or other health care appointments. In order to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, we need to work together. So during the epidemic, since access to dental services is limited, we should take good care about our oral hygiene in order to avoid dental emergency appointments.
Covid-19 and the impact on your dental appointment
The American Dental Association has called on dentist to postpone all non-urgent dental procedure through April 30 in order to slow down as much as possible, the spread of the coronavirus.
During this period, ADA has asked dentists to only focus on treating emergency patients. This decision has two ‘benefits’. Fir first one is obviously to minimize and reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus which is already severely affecting the healthcare system. So the first goal is to slowly minimize the strain on the healthcare system caused by Covid-19. The second reason why dentist should be allowed to treat only emergency cases is that those patients don’t end up in emergency rooms and take up resources which should be dedicated right now to focus on serious Covid-19 patients.
Some states, however, will be allowed to ease the social distancing measures even before April 30 or soon after. This will allow businesses, such as dental offices, to reopen their doors and resume with their normal operations, but presumably with some safety measures still in place.
On April 18, ADA has released a statement asking that dentist should follow the directives of their state governors and combine them with their professional assessment when seeing patients that are not emergency cases.
Once business resumes as ‘normal’, there will be certain protocols and guidance on what personal protective equipment should be used. This will be to ensure the safety of the dentist, their staff and of course the patients.
What is considered to be a dental emergency?
During the Covid-19 epidemic, you should definitely reschedule all appointments with your dentist that aren’t considered emergency. If you’re in doubt and you don’t know whether your dental care appointment is an emergency or not, you should consult with this guide.
These are the appointments you should reschedule until your dentists resumes regular business:
- Regular visits for routine check-ups, cleaning or x-rays
- Regular visits for braces
- Teeth removal that aren’t painful
- Treatment of cavities that aren’t painful
- Teeth whitening
And if your dental appointment falls into one of these categories, it can be considered as an emergency:
- Persistent bleeding that you can’t stop
- Painful swelling in or around your mouth
- Toothache or pain in your jaw bone
- Gum infection followed by pain or swelling
- After surgery treatment like dressing change, removal of stitches
- Broken or knocked out tooth
- Denture adjustment for people receiving treatment for cancer
- Shipping or adjusting wire of braces that are painful
- Biopsy of abnormal tissue
Even during the current situation, it is important to maintain good mental health as much as possible. If you’re in need of emergency treatment you can use our teledentistry services or schedule an emergency appointment.