It is certainly a strange time in our world right now, as billions of people are being told to stay home in an attempt to combat the infectious respiratory disease now known as COVID-19. Also referred to as Coronavirus, it is having a major impact on businesses both large and small as well as hospitals and even your local dentist’s offices. So, what should you do if you are facing
a dental crisis and need an emergency dentist?
Learn just how impactful COVID-19 is to your oral health and what the ADA recommends you should do depending on the severity of your individual problem.
COVID-19: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe
Known as an infectious disease that causes respiratory illness,
individuals with COVID-19 often have symptoms of coughing, fever, and shortness
of breath. Although easily mistaken for other health-related issues, such as
allergies and the flu, it is now more important than ever to be tested if you believe
you may have contracted COVID-19.
To keep you and your loved ones safe during this time, make
sure you are using soap and water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
If these items are unavailable, keep hand sanitizer nearby that contains at
least 60% alcohol, as this will help to eliminate germs and contaminants.
Lastly, make sure you are staying away from those who are sick (social
What the ADA Says About Dental Emergencies
As many dentist’s offices are now closed and seeing only
emergency patients, you may be wondering how to identify a real dental
emergency, especially as the world attempts to stop the spread of COVID-19. Before,
a toothache might warrant a visit to the dentist, but now, your dental team
will need to determine its severity before suggesting in-office or at-home
Fortunately, many common dental emergencies (i.e. toothache,
soft tissue injury, lost crown or filling) can be treated at home with over-the-counter
pain relievers, cold compresses, saltwater rinses, and even temporary dental
adhesive. However, should you need immediate care, your dental team will be
there to help.
To better understand what constitutes an actual dental
emergency, the ADA recently released an easy-to-understand breakdown that categorizes
different scenarios into three types:
- Dental Emergencies: Increased swelling
that will not go down, continuous bleeding, or trauma to the face/jawbone and
could potentially block your airway.
- Urgent Dental Care: Tooth fractures, dry
sockets, abscess, denture adjustment for radiation/oncology patients, lost or broken
crown, bride, or filling. These can be addressed by your dentist to alleviate
emergency room visits.
- Non-Emergency Dental Procedures: Checkups
and cleanings, restorative or cosmetic dentistry, tooth extraction,
Remember, your oral health is important, so don’t attempt to
ignore a problem just because of the current situation. No matter what type of
dental emergency you may be dealing with, don’t be afraid to contact your
dentist’s office. Their team is available to answer questions, address
concerns, and determine injury severity to ensure immediate care is given to
those in serious need.
About the Author
Considered one of the top dentists in Northern Virginia, Dr. Wayne Myles has provided comprehensive dental services since 1997. Attending SUNY at Binghamton, he graduated with a degree in biology before going to Georgetown Dental School and graduating in 1990. As the world battles what is known as COVID-19, he and his team want you to know that should you need assistance for a dental emergency, they are available to help. No matter the type of injury, make sure to visit our website or call (703) 925-0800 for help.
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