The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally transformed our daily lives in many ways. Our dental health may not seem to be a top priority during these trying times, however neglecting care can lead to many oral diseases, which in turn will affect our overall health.
Dental offices across the country, including those in our community, have been asked to only provide emergency treatment until further notice. Even with limiting care to emergency situations and with all of the precautions we have taken to reduce exposure, it is important to understand that providing in-office treatment still poses a risk to patients, providers and dental staff.
In order to reduce the strain on healthcare facilities and the risk of exposure, please only seek treatment if you are experiencing a true dental emergency such as pain and swelling. For all other emergencies, refer to “Temporary solutions for dental problems” guideline below.
Here are a few guidelines to ensure your oral health is in tip-top shape during this pandemic.
Smoking causes limited blood flow to your gums, resulting in increased bacteria growth. This increases your risk for gum infection! The goal is to optimize your immune system during this pandemic. Hence, a healthy mouth allows the body’s immune system to fight off other infections.
As always, contact your dentist if you have questions or concerns.
On March 16th, 2020, the American Dental Association (ADA) advised dental providers to limit office visits to emergency procedures only. This decision allows for the nation’s supply of personal protective equipment to be preserved. These measures also limit the risk of transmission of the virus at the dental office, and preserve the safety of our patients and dental staff. Because some dental clinics are still open for dental emergencies the burden on urgent care clinics is reduced. Please do not visit the Health Access Network’s Walk-in Care for your dental care needs, except for a true emergency.
Your dentist can consult with you on the phone and help you with situations such as a toothache or loose crown. If you have sharp, throbbing pain in your teeth, mouth or gum, your dentist will determine if your case qualifies as a dental emergency. If your dentist determines that you are at risk of a bacterial infection that causes swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or other high risk conditions, you may need to be seen in the dental office. You should only be going to your dental office if you have been advised by your dentist or dental staff to do so, and you have a scheduled appointment.
You can visit the American Dental Association website (www.ada.org) for more resources and information.
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