Dental emergencies can be stressful to handle, especially during COVID-19. Due to patient intake and treatment being different in an effort to protect patients and staff from risk of infection, it’s vital to contact your emergency dentist beforehand. If you’re in need of urgent dental attention during the shelter-in-place orders, you can read below for a step-by-step walkthrough of what you should due to get the care you need while staying safe.
Assess Your Situation
Before you contact your emergency dentist, assess your situation by conducting a visual inspection of your mouth, rinsing with a salt water solution, and gently flossing between your teeth. This will ensure that if there’s anything lodged in your mouth that’s causing you pain, it will come loose. If your discomfort persists, it’s time to contact a professional.
Contact Your Emergency Dentist
When you contact your emergency dentist, they’ll ask you about your oral symptoms and assess your situation to determine whether you need to be treated immediately. You may also be asked some questions about COVID-19 symptoms as a pre-screening to determine whether you could be potentially positive. Based on your answers, they’ll determine which facilities would be safest for you to be treated in, your local ER, or their office.
Your emergency dentist will provide you with over-the-phone first-aid guidance to help prevent any further damage from occurring and work with your schedule to determine the earliest appointment time, depending on the severity of the situation.
Relieve Your Pain Until Your Appointment
If you notice facial swelling, you can place a cold compress on the area for 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off, for up to an hour. You can also help ease your pain by taking over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen. If you believe that your discomfort could be caused by an infection, it’s important not to allow aspirin to touch your gums, because it can burn the tissue. It’s also important not to place heat on the area, because it can accelerate the progression of the infection.
Get Treated & Recover
When you visit your emergency dentist, they’ll likely have you wait in your car until your appointment time to reduce patient-to-patient interaction in the waiting room. They’ll conduct a thorough visual and X-ray examination of your mouth to determine what’s causing your discomfort and develop a treatment plan. Depending on the treatment required, you may need to visit their office again. After your issue has been addressed, all that will be left to do is recover!
When you visit your emergency dentist for treatment during COVID-19, you can rest assured that they’re following strict CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus and keep their patients and staff safe. With timely emergency treatment, you’ll be back in your home and self-isolating again before you know it!
About the Author
Dr. Dan Passidomo has decades of experience providing effective and pain-relieving emergency dental care. He stays up-to-date with the latest technology and techniques in his field and takes continuing education courses to sharpen his skills in specialized treatments, such as endodontics (root canals), periodontics, and infection control. For questions or to schedule an emergency dental appointment, visit his website or call 937-886-9935.