By now you’re aware that it has been recommended (and in some states required) that dental offices limit appointments to emergency procedures until further notice. We realize this can be an inconvenience to our patients, but we also strongly believe this is a necessary measure to help control the spread of the coronavirus and hopefully bring life back to normal.
There has been some confusion among patients (and even dentists) as to what a dental “emergency” is. The American Dental Association (ADA) has released guidelines defining what emergency, urgent, and routine care are. Our office will follow these criteria when determining whether or not to schedule appointments.
Emergencies are potentially life threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding, alleviate severe pain or treat infection. We WILL see you if you are experiencing:
Cellulitis or a diffuse soft tissue bacterial infection with swelling that potentially compromises your airway
Trauma involving facial bones, potentially compromising your airway
Urgent dental care focuses on the management of conditions that require immediate attention to relieve severe pain and/or risk of infection and to alleviate the burden on hospital emergency
departments. We WILL see you in the following cases:
Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation
Pericoronitis or third-molar pain
Surgical post-operative osteitis, 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 treatment required prior to critical medical procedures
Final crown/bridge cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken or causing gingival irritation
Extensive dental caries (cavities) or defective restorations causing pain
Denture adjustment on radiation/oncology patients
Denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded
Replacing temporary filling on endo access openings in patients experiencing pain
Snipping or adjustment of an orthodontic wire or appliances piercing or ulcerating the oral mucosa
For all other non-emergency/routine dental care, we will POSTPONE your treatment until further notice.
Initial or periodic oral examinations and recall visits, including routine radiographs
Routine dental cleaning and 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 (cavities)
Aesthetic dental procedures
If you are coming into our office for emergency treatment, we want you to be assured that we have always followed standard universal precautions issued by the CDC and ADA to help protect every one of our patients and team members from the many infectious diseases that we are potentially exposed to on a daily basis. For your peace of mind, these are the precautions we take EVERY time you sit in one of our patient chairs:
We wear single-use gloves and masks while treating patients.
We wear full length sleeves and launder all of our work clothing on site.
We place instruments after each use into an autoclave (a high-pressure steam oven) to kill every known infectious organism, including coronavirus.
We wipe down each dental operatory after each patient visit with a medical-grade surface disinfectant that kills all known infectious diseases, including coronavirus.
We either wash our hands thoroughly or apply an alcohol-based compound between each patient.
In addition to the above standard measures, we will be exercising a higher than normal level of infection-control and social distancing. And while we love and value each of our patients, handshakes and hugs may be replaced with an "elbow bump" for the time being.
While we are doing everything in our power to protect you, we also ask for your cooperation in making our office environment a safe one when you visit us. If you have a cough, fever, or chills, please call our office to discuss whether or not you should reschedule. We will be checking temperatures on all patients as they enter and anyone with a reading over 99.9 degrees may be asked to reschedule at least three weeks later as a precaution. Also, to practice social distancing and minimize the number of people in our waiting room, please show up no earlier than 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment and come alone if possible.
We care about each of you and hope that you and your family will remain in good health during this difficult time. If you have any questions about treatment and whether or not you should schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to call us at 308-345-2273.