Here, our Comox dentists offer tips on how you can handle a dental emergency during a global pandemic like COVID-19.
Do you have a dental emergency during COVID-19?
While many aspects of our daily lives have been turned upside down, at least one thing has stayed constant for dentists and their patients: dental emergencies.
But, how do you safely handle a dental emergency during these times, while respecting social distancing guidelines? We share a few tips with you today.
Define your emergency
The first thing you should do is determine if you are having an urgent dental emergency that requires immediate attention by a dentist. If you’re experiencing any of the following, call us right away:
- Sensitive teeth
- Toothache that you cannot remedy yourself with over-the-counter pain medication
- Severe swelling on your face, neck, or mouth
- Chipped, broken, or knocked-out tooth
- Sore or bleeding gums
- Lost crowns or fillings
- Ulcers in your mouth
New Regulations & Rules Due To COVID-19
If you visit our office during a dental emergency, you’ll likely notice it looks somewhat different than it does under normal circumstances, and that protocols and extra precautions are in place to keep our staff and patients safe.
If you have a dental emergency, you can be comforted knowing we are equipped to handle it safely. Learn more about our COVID-19 protocols here.
Managing Dental Emergencies During a Global Pandemic Like COVID-19
At this point, everyone is familiar with social distancing and the rules of pandemic safety, but how does that translate to the dentist’s office? We have listed a few actions you can take below:
Call us early. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you are having a dental emergency. We can offer you advice over the phone and get you in as quickly as possible. Bookmark this post, or type "dentist near me" into your favourite search engine and our information should likely come up.
Apply ice. Hold an ice pack or cold compress to the affected area.
Find Your lost tooth. If you have lost a tooth, do your best to find it and rinse it with water. Hold the tooth in the socket it fell out of, or place it in a container of milk. Your dentist may be able to attach it.
Answer screening questions. When you call our office, your dentist or their staff will ask you pre-screening questions to learn whether you have any COVID-19 symptoms. If you do, we can refer you to another office or make alternate arrangements.
Wear a face mask and use hand sanitizer. Wearing a face mask and using 70 to 90 percent alcohol-based hand sanitizer upon entering or leaving the building are two precautions to take.
Respect social distancing guidelines. We will arrange an appointment for you as soon as possible. If you do need to wait in the waiting room, you’ll find chairs spaced 2 metres apart. There will be no magazines or other non-essential items as we try to reduce the number of touchable surfaces.
Dentists will wear protective gear. In addition to surgical face masks, your dentist and their staff will wear personal protective equipment during in-person appointments.
Attend your appointment alone. Plan to attend your appointment alone (exceptions are made for children or people who require assistance).
Pay via touchless payment. Plan to pay any balance owing on your appointment with your credit card or debit card.