What Are Essential Dental Services During Crisis?
COVID-19 Dental Facts - What Emergency Treatment You Can Expect
Why brushing and flossing is more important than ever
TORONTO, ONT — Emergency dental care is considered an essential service and the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) wants you to know what treatments you can expect during this time of social distancing in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Dentists have been directed not to do check-ups, non-emergency or cosmetic procedures so if you have an upcoming dental appointment, call your dentist to reschedule.
What’s a dental emergency?
- Dentists are prepared to treat:
- A severe injury to the teeth, mouth and face
- Severe infection, like an abscess or swelling
- Bleeding that doesn’t stop
- Dental pain that can’t be managed by medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen
Not all dentists can treat emergencies or guard against COVID-19 but your dentist will have an emergency contact number so they can either help you over the phone or direct you where to go.
If you don’t have a dentist, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario has a list of emergency clinics. Please do not go to a hospital emergency room for a dental problem. Our health-care system is focused on treating COVID-19 patients and other medical emergencies. You could also run the risk of infecting someone or becoming infected by going to the hospital.
Brush and floss!
Dental health is a key part of maintaining overall health and well-being so it’s especially important during this time to keep up with good dental care routines like brushing twice a day and flossing daily. It prevents bacteria build-up and inflammation which can affect your immune system.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Donations
The ODA is working with its local dental branches and other organizations to coordinate PPE donations for emergency dental clinics, hospitals, long-term care homes and public health units. There’s a lot of interest in the dental community to help out and we’re keeping dentists updated on how they can.
For more COVID-19 dental facts and information on other dental issues, go to our site at the link below.
UPDATE On COVID-19
The ODA supports the recommendation from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario to suspend all non-essential dental appointments. Emergency treatment should continue. We’re putting public safety first.
At this time, all non-essential dental appointments should be rescheduled. If you have an appointment coming up and haven’t heard from your dentist already, give them a call.
If you think you have a dental emergency, call your dentist. They will ask you for information about your situation and give you advice about next steps. If you need to go to a dental office for treatment, your dentist will let you know if they can help or direct you to another dentist. Not all dentists have the proper safety equipment needed to treat emergencies or guard against COVID-19.
Dentists who are equipped to treat emergency cases have been receiving guidance from the Ministry of Health to conduct passive and active screening of patients and develop plans for referral of suspected cases of COVID-19. The also follow the strictest standards of infection prevention and control every day of the year and that includes having the proper protective equipment to wear during all treatments for patients.
Do not go to a hospital emergency room for a dental problem at this time.
If you don’t have a dentist, see the RCDSO’s list of emergency clinics at the link below: