The continued rise of COVID-19 cases in the United States has caused the implementation of lockdown measures to avoid further spread of the disease. People were required to stay at home, while establishments are advised to stop operating for the time being, except for essential service providers.
As a response, the American Dental Association (ADA) on March 16, 2020 recommended dental practices nationwide to postpone elective procedures and only accommodate emergency treatments. This is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for providing dental care during this pandemic.
Coronavirus and Dental Practices
The primary cause of the coronavirus transmission is through respiratory droplets, from an infected person to another. Airborne transmission is likely to happen only in short distances, however, the virus can survive for hours to days on surfaces. This makes the virus highly contagious causing its immediate spread, as seen with the rise of positive cases every single day.
With this characteristic of virus transmission, dental offices are considered highly susceptible areas. A dental procedure would commonly cause droplets of water, saliva, blood and microorganisms, which are modes to transmit the virus. Even if a dentist uses personal protective equipment (PPE), the virus can still pose a risk.
This is the very reason why dental practices were asked to discontinue elective procedures, surgeries and non-urgent dental visits for the moment. Only dental emergencies can be accepted and in such cases, safety procedures must be in place as recommended by CDC.
Our Dental Practice During COVID-19
Nexus Dental in Indian Trail submits to this recommendation from ADA and CDC and has currently closed its dental office. We know that this is a trying time for both our practice and our patients, so we see the value of constantly checking on our staff and patients and opening our communication lines for them to address their concerns.
We accommodate dental emergency treatments as the need arises.
Why you can’t go to the dentist
While the obvious reason is that your dentist is closed, you’re actually advised to stay home to avoid contracting the virus. The risk of getting sick is higher when you’re outside and are exposed to others.
So for non-emergency treatments or check-ups, you won’t be accommodated by our dentist at this time. You have to postpone and reschedule your appointment. In the meantime, ask for an alternative way to receive dental advice or temporary care which you can do at home.
Non-urgent dental treatments
So, what dental cases are considered non-urgent?
Generally, these are dental conditions or works that don’t affect your health at the moment. These cases and treatments can wait and can be rescheduled some other time. Some examples are:
- Regular dental check-ups and exams
- Dental imaging
- Teeth cleaning
- Teeth whitening
- Dental cosmetic problems
- Braces adjustments and check-ups
- Tooth extractions or cavity treatments that aren’t painful
What Dental Emergencies Are Allowed During COVID-19
Dental emergencies are imminent during this pandemic. That’s why under such circumstances, dental practices are allowed to treat and care for patients.
Before accommodating an emergency, a telephone triage will be conducted by the dentist to assess whether the patient’s condition is an emergency or not. It’s ultimately the dentist who determines what’s urgent following the ADA guidelines.
If you aren’t sure if your condition counts as an emergency, you can call your dentist to conduct an assessment. But in any case, you can refer below to the cases that may require emergency dental care according to ADA:
- Swelling in or around the mouth that is painful
- Severe pain in a tooth, teeth or jaw bone
- Bleeding that can’t be controlled
- Painful gum swelling due to infection
- Broken tooth
- Needed dental treatments for cancer patients
- Biopsy of mouth tissues
- Dentures and braces that are causing mouth and gum pain
- After dental surgery care (stitch removal, dressing change)
- Dental trauma that may affect breathing
Reach out to our dentist immediately when you experience any of the above cases. Your health is our priority even amidst this pandemic, so an emergency dental treatment may be conducted as the need arises.
Ensuring Safety in Our Dental Office
Nexus Dental in Indian Trail abides by the guidelines of CDC and ADA concerning infection prevention and control. We follow safety procedures and hygiene in our dental office to ensure that our staff, patients and visitors are safe and protected from the risk of the coronavirus and other diseases.
We implement strict handwashing and physical distancing measures in our office. We require our dentists, assistants and staff to use PPE, especially when performing dental procedures.
We conduct a telephone triage prior to accommodating a patient for an emergency. When the case is deemed urgent, we ask the patient to proceed to our office. We conduct a physical assessment and interview upon arrival to learn if they have the symptoms of a respiratory infection and history of travel.
If everything is in place and the patient has no COVID-like symptoms, then we proceed with our emergency dental care using the safe work and infection control practices.
Nexus Dental in Indian Trail is Open for Dental Emergencies
If you happen to experience severe pain in the mouth, gum swelling, bleeding that can’t be stopped, dental trauma due to an accident and any other emergency cases, Nexus Dental in Indian Trail can provide urgent care and treatment.
If you aren’t sure if your case is an emergency, you may call us for an assessment. We can advise you on how to handle and care for your dental concerns. If you’re needed to be seen by our dentists, we’ll ask you to proceed to our office for further assessment and conduct the needed treatment.
Contact Nexus Dental today at (704) 893-8126.