With the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently sweeping the globe, it can be easy to feel like the world has stopped. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and circumstances still arise that need to be attended to. Dental emergencies, for instance, are a tricky issue. Extreme pain or the loss of a tooth just can’t wait to be fixed regardless of the pandemic situation. So how does one deal with a dental emergency during COVID-19? Keep reading to learn more.
The coronavirus is a respiratory illness spread through the air in droplets that are released when we breathe, cough, or sneeze. If the virus in these droplets lands on another person or are is inhaled, that person might get sick. To prevent the spread of the disease, most public places have been practicing social distancing and mask-wearing. Wearing a mask while getting dental treatment isn’t possible, so how can you protect yourself and still get the care you need?
Suppose you have recently been scheduled to have an elective procedure or routine cleaning. In this case, due to COVID, your dentist may ask you to reschedule or postpone until the virus has cleared up. To slow the spread of the virus, many facilities are opting to defer these non-urgent procedures and treating emergency issues only. This eliminates crowds in the waiting room, as well as the risk to receptionists and hygienists.
If you do have a dental emergency, you might be asked to go through screenings to ensure the safety of the staff and yourself. Here is what you can expect.
- Call the dentist first. On the phone, you’ll be asked to report any COVID-19 symptoms or positive test results. You may be asked to delay a dental visit until after your isolation period has ended.
- If you have no symptoms, you’ll go through phone triage. You’ll have to describe your dental symptoms and be attended to according to the level of your emergency needs.
- When you arrive at the facility, keep visitors to a minimum. You and anyone who comes with you will need to wear a mask and possibly undergo screening for COVID symptoms, including fever. There will be hygiene stations for handwashing with soap or sanitizer.
- You will have to remove your mask at your appointment, but your dentist and hygienist will wear one. After the treatment is over, you’ll have to put your mask back on as you leave.
Facing a dental emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic is definitely a challenge. By observing proper safety requirements, though, an urgent trip to the dentist doesn’t have to be scary. If you need emergency dental assistance, please contact Newton Dental Associates for help.