As kids, we are taught to visit a dentist every six months to ensure our dental health is not compromised. However, today, we can’t go about like this, and all the credit goes to the ongoing pandemic.
Covid 19 has changed how things work, and all of us are trying to make peace with it. Similarly, it has not only changed the most basic habit of getting groceries online, but even dentists are strictly prohibited to entertain any patient until it is an emergency.
CDC and the American Dental Association has drawn a few guidelines for the dentist to operate. Well, the question is, if you need to have a dental appointment, are dentists open during coronavirus. To know about it, read further.
Are Dentists open during Coronavirus?
As per CDC guidelines, the dental procedures have begun. However, the dentists will have to follow the strict regimen laid by the organization. Dental healthcare practitioners are advised to only entertain the patients they think are at high risk of dental ill health if not given immediate care. Moreover, if they decide to call a patient, they must make sure that they have all the protective gear to ensure the safety of themselves and the patients coming in.
Apart from this, DHCPs must implement teledentistry and triage protocols for non-emergent dental care. It means that if a person wants to get non-emergent care, which includes regular check-ups, then the dentist must not call them to the clinic; instead, provide them dental advice through a video call or phone call.
Moreover, the dental health practitioner must also set levels of urgency and call patients according to their vulnerability. If there are two emergent cases, the practitioner must entertain the one that needs more immediate care.
What are Dental Emergencies?
American Dental Association has mentioned the dental emergencies and emergent services in their guideline for Dental services during the pandemic. Among potential life-threatening dental emergencies includes tissue bleeding, severe or alleviated pain, cellulitis bacterial infection, soft tissue infections, and internal or external swelling, which may threaten to block the patient’s airway.
Moreover, ADA has also set out examples of emergent services. The list includes pericoronitis or third-molar pain, dry socket dressing changes, tooth fracture, Dental trauma with luxation or avulsion, gingival irritation, etc.
Other than what is indicated in the guideline, DHCPs are asked to use their professional judgment to determine the severity of the case.
What are Non-emergent Dental Services?
Similar to emergent guidelines, the American Dental Association has also set a list of non-emergent services. However, these are not limited. The dental healthcare practitioner can decide on the problems that are not mentioned here.
Non-emergent services include oral examination (Initial or periodic), routine dental cleaning, preventative therapies (if it can be done at home), orthodontic procedures, asymptomatic teeth extraction, Aesthetic dental procedure, etc.
As of now, we are fully aware of how dental clinics will work during the pandemic. Before we conclude our write-up, let us tell you what things you must keep in your mind before planning your visit.
Things to remember before the Dental Appointment
Going out for grocery shopping or a run does not put your life at stake, but going to a dental clinic will surely put you at high risk of acquiring the virus. Coronavirus spread through direct human contact, and dental work involves the most amount of contact with the mouth and nose.
In case, if you have to go, make sure you are wearing your mask properly and have put on gloves as well. Moreover, when you enter the clinic, ensure social distancing. Although the clinic would have made guidelines for you, you must take precautions for yourself. Apart from that, don’t touch anything unnecessarily.
All in all, make sure you do not become a reason to spread the virus, and you can do this by taking precautionary measures defined by CDC and ADA.