What is Considered a Dental Emergency During this Pandemic?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many things in our regular lives have shifted, changed and adjusted as a response to containing and stopping the spread of the virus. Trips to the dentist’s office are one of the many routine visits that were put on hold at the start of the pandemic.
If we go back into lockdown in the future, patients may be asked to hold off on non-essential dental visits and only see a dentist in the case of an emergency. But how do you know if you have a dental emergency? Here are some things to consider.
According to the Ontario Dental Association, a dental emergency is “a potentially life threatening condition that requires immediate treatment.” A cracked tooth or broken denture would not be considered a dental emergency but it is important to see your dentist right away if you have any of the following conditions:
- An injury to the mouth or face from a trauma or accident
- Severe swelling or signs of infection such as an abcess
- Bleeding from the mouth that won’t stop
- Any severe dental pain that can’t be managed with over the counter medication.
If you have a dental emergency it is very important that you seek care immediately. Do not wait in pain or delay a visit if you have signs of infection or bleeding that won’t stop. Call your dentist who can refer you to the closest emergency dental clinic for treatment.
In general, if you can wait until the next day to see your dentist, it is not a dental emergency. If your pain can be managed with an icepack and tylenol or ibuprofen, it is not a dental emergency. A chipped or cracked tooth would also not be a dental emergency, unless you are in severe pain or have sharp tooth edges that could cause more damage.
For issues with dentures call your denturist or talk to Immediate Denture at Smiles Denture Care Centre. They can advise you over the phone on the best way to repair your dentures and offer curbside pickup when your dentures are fixed. Broken brace brackets can also often be left until an in-person visit is available. If you have a problem with your root canal, then check availability for a root canal in Guelph to fill the cracked tooth or broken denture.
In most of Ontario, dental offices are open but with some limitation on in-person appointments and with more safety protocols and procedures. These appointments are specifically for urgent care patients, but dentists are also seeing patients for regular dental checkups. There are also more video appointments and phone appointments to limit the number of patients in the dental office.
If you have a dental issue or are unsure if you have a dental emergency, the best way to handle it is to call your dentist at Dr. Mark Rhody Dentistry or visit our website. They can advise you over the phone if you need immediate care or can help you find ways to treat it until you can get in for an in-person appointment. In some cases, your dentist will not be able to treat you but can refer you to an emergency dental clinic.
If you have a dental emergency after hours and your dental office is closed there are often after hours clinics that you can call or emergency clinics that are able to help. If none of these options are available you can also go to your closest emergency room for treatment.