Are you Open?
Yes, However, As of 3.17.2020 Our offices are working on a limited capacity of postponing elective procedures in response to the spread of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, across the country. No walk-in, Please call to set up an appointment.
What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?
The ADA provided its members and their patients detailed guidance on March 18 on what to consider dental emergencies and nonemergency dental care as part of an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, and alleviate the burden on hospital and emergency departments.
The guide is meant to provide additional guidance following an Association recommendation that dentists nationwide postpone elective procedures to do their part to “mitigate the spread of COVID-19.” It was included as part of an ADA issues alert that went to all dentists in the ADA’s database.
Dental emergencies, according to the ADA, “are potentially life threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding [or to] alleviate severe pain or infection.” Conditions include uncontrolled bleeding; cellulitis or a diffuse soft tissue bacterial infection with intraoral or extraoral swelling that potentially compromises the patient’s airway; or trauma involving facial bones that potentially compromises the patient’s airway.
“The guidance may change as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses,” according to the Association. “Dentists should use their professional judgment in determining a patient’s need for urgent or emergency care.”
As part of the emergency guidance, the Association added urgent dental care which “focuses on the management of conditions that require immediate attention to relieve sever pain and/or risk of infection and to alleviate the burden on hospital emergency departments.”
Examples of urgent dental care treatments, which should be treated as minimally invasively as possible, include:
• Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation.
• Pericoronitis or third-molar pain.
• Surgical postoperative osteitis or dry socket dressing changes.
• Abscess or localized bacterial infection resulting in localized pain and swelling.
• Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft tissue trauma.
• Dental trauma with avulsion/luxation.
• Dental treatment cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken or causing gingival irritation.
Other emergency dental care includes extensive caries or defective restorations causing pain; suture removal; denture adjustments on radiation/oncology patients; denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded; replacing temporary filling on endo access openings in patients experiencing pain; and snipping or adjustments of an orthodontic wire or appliances piercing or ulcerating the oral mucosa.
“The American Dental Association recognizes the unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances dentists and all health care professionals face related to growing concern about COVID-19,” according to the March 16 statement from ADA President Chad P. Gehani. “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.”
Nonemergency dental procedures, according to the Association, include but are not limited to:
• Initial or periodic oral examinations and recall visits, including routine radiographs.
• Routine dental cleaning and other preventive therapies.
• Orthodontic procedures other than those to address acute issues (e.g., pain, infection, trauma).
• Extraction of asymptomatic teeth.
• Restorative dentistry including treatment of asymptomatic carious lesions.
• Aesthetic dental procedures.
what is Infection control?
Infection control procedures are actions taken in health care settings to prevent the spread of disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommendations for dental office infection control. We care about your safety and work hard to prevent the spread of infection. Before you enter the examining room, all surfaces, such as the dental chair, dental light, drawer handles and countertops, have been cleaned and disinfected. Offices may cover some equipment with protective covers, which are replaced after each patient.
Non-disposable items like the dental tools are cleaned and sterilized between patients. Disposable dental tools and needles are never reused. Infection control precautions also require all dental staff involved in patient care to use appropriate protective equipment such as gloves, masks, gowns and eyewear when needed. After each patient, disposable gloves and masks are thrown away. Before seeing the next patient, everyone on the treatment team washes their hands and put on a new pair of gloves.
Your well-being is important to your dentists and dental staff. That’s why infection control procedures are in place at our dental offices.
What about the new coronavirus?
With so many new cases, it’s understandable to be concerned about the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Please know that the precautions we are taking every day to prevent the spread of infection in our practices also help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you are ill with flu-like symptoms, you should reschedule your appointment.
If you or someone you are in close contact with have recently traveled to one of the countries with large outbreaks of COVID-19 (China, Italy, Iran, South Korea) or if you have been exposed to someone else who was diagnosed with COVID-19 or who was quarantined as a precaution, wait 14 days until you see your dentist to make sure you have not caught the coronavirus.
If you are medically compromised or are in the High-Risk group, and this is not a dental emergency, you should reschedule your appointment.
If you are healthy, there’s no need to cancel your regularly scheduled dental appointment.
It’s important to know that the majority of people infected with the coronavirus experience flu-like symptoms and then recover. Most people do not develop serious respiratory complications.
Those most at risk of becoming seriously ill are elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease, among others. Children, thus far, have been largely unaffected.
Here are a few things you can do on your own to help keep yourself and those around you healthy:
Wash your hands frequently, or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent ethyl alcohol.
Avoid touching your face, eyes or nose to reduce the spread of germs.
Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow. Infections like the coronavirus spread through the tiny droplets in coughs and sneezes.
Stay home if you feel sick. If you have flu-like symptoms or otherwise feel unwell, stay home and rest. Call your dentist to reschedule your appointment for a later date. This will reduce the risk of spreading your illness.
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