Are you anxious about the current situation we are in? Lots of emotions pop up that we must deal with when our way of life turns all topsy-turvy. When something major like COVID-19 takes us by surprise (and by storm), panic, insecurity, and stress set in rather quickly. Some of us even go into a state of denial. So what do you need to do to help yourself and your family in this time of crisis? And how does this affect your dental care needs today?
Gather the Facts
During a crisis, uncertainty and confusion abound. When our basic needs of security, warmth, food, and the absence of pain are not met, we cease to function. So it’s important to gather the facts, not fake news.
It’s amazing how empowering facts are! When you know what it is you’re up against, you can handle a tough situation with confidence. Also, knowing the facts not only makes you accountable for yourself, it keeps you from blaming or attacking someone in leadership, from thinking that dealing with this crisis is someone else’s job. Knowing the truth keeps you from stalling and becoming unproductive, too.
Know the Enemy
The American Dental Association offers credible, up-to-date information here: Where can I find current, credible information about COVID-19?
The Signs, Symptoms, and Risk Factors for COVID-19
And here’s what the ADA has to say about this coronavirus.
“Similar to other flu-like diseases, patients with known COVID-19 have reported mild to severe symptoms which can include fever, cough and shortness of breath.”
Kill the Enemy
The ADA also says this about COVID-19:
“Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product.
“The EPA has developed a list of registered surface disinfectant products for use against coronavirus, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.” And simple and humble hydrogen peroxide tops this list!
In addition to covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze to prevent the spread of a cold or the flu, routine cleaning and disinfection procedures will also help to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
- Stay home
- Wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap for at least 20 seconds, and wash them often
- Clean and disinfect surfaces you touch and do this often (door handles, chairs, bathroom fixtures, faucet handles, stair rails, cell phone …)
- If you must go anywhere, do the following when you return home:
- Wash your hands
- Mist surfaces with hydrogen peroxide
Your Dental Care Needs in Time of Crisis
Taking care of our patients’ dental care needs during a crisis is a challenge, to say the least.
COVID-19 UPDATE as of March 21, 2020:
“We have put strict screening guidelines into place for patients and staff entering our practice, to ensure the safety of our patients and our dental team. However, at this time the American Dental Association is recommending to postpone elective procedures and concentrate on emergency dental care only. All routine and non-emergent dental appointments, including cleanings, will be rescheduled to a future date beyond April 6. If you had an appointment scheduled, we will contact you to reschedule that appointment.
“Patients with emergency dental care needs will be treated. And we will continue to follow our strict screening protocols with these patients.
“We will continue to monitor ADA recommendations closely. Updates will be posted as they become available to us.”
What Constitutes a Dental Emergency or Urgent Dental Care?
Again, referring to ADA guidelines, “Dental emergencies are potentially life-threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding, alleviate severe pain or infection, and include:
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Cellulitis or a diffuse soft-tissue bacterial infection with intra-oral or extra-oral swelling that potentially compromises the patient’s airway
- Trauma involving facial bones, potentially compromising the patient’s airway
“Urgent dental care focuses on the management of conditions that require immediate attention to relieve severe pain and/or risk of infection and to alleviate the burden on hospital emergency departments. These should be treated as minimally invasively as possible.
- Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation
- Pericoronitis or third-molar pain
- Surgical post-operative osteitis, dry socket dressing changes
- Abscess, or localized bacterial infection resulting in localized pain and swelling
- Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft tissue trauma
- Dental trauma with avulsion/luxation
- Dental treatment required prior to critical medical procedures
- Final crown/bridge cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken or causing gingival irritation
- Biopsy of abnormal tissue
“Other Urgent Dental Care:
- Extensive dental caries or defective restorations causing pain
- Manage with interim restorative techniques when possible (silver diamine fluoride, glass ionomers)
- Suture removal
- Denture adjustment on radiation/ oncology patients
- Denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded
- Replacing temporary filling on endo access openings in patients experiencing pain
- Snipping or adjustment of an orthodontic wire or appliances piercing or ulcerating the oral mucosa
“What are Considered to be Dental Non-Emergency Procedures?
“Routine or non-urgent dental procedures include but are not limited to:
- Initial or periodic oral examinations and recall visits, including routine radiographs
- Routine dental cleaning and preventive therapies
- Orthodontic procedures other than those to address acute issues (e.g. pain, infection, trauma) or other issues critically necessary to prevent harm to the patient
- Extraction of asymptomatic teeth
- Restorative dentistry including treatment of asymptomatic carious lesions
- Aesthetic dental procedures”
Questions About Your Dental Care Needs During This Time
I know you agree that we’re living through a time of uncertainty. Our livelihood is being threatened by COVID-19. Businesses are shutting down, and people are staying home to help stop the spread of this virus. Such actions create a lot of concern as well as financial hardship for many of us. And it’s normal to feel stressed and anxious. Yes, normal. That’s okay!
Please call our office at 307-634-3488 with any emergency/urgent dental care needs, questions, or concerns you may have. Voicemails will be returned daily.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience associated with COVID-19. It is our desire to do our part to help flatten the curve and keep our community healthy.
And remember, we’re all in this together! Let’s work together. We will get through this!
Quality Dental Care for Your Whole Family
3249 Sparks Road
Cheyenne, WY 82001
Open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm