Safe Emergency Dental Care During COVID-19
When you experience a dental emergency, the last thing you want to have to worry about is whether or not it’s safe to go to the clinic to get care because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dental emergencies are serious medical issues that need to be dealt with immediately. Whether it’s a lost tooth from an accidental impact, sudden or intense tooth pain, or some other type of dental emergency, getting the care you need quickly helps prevent the situation from worsening, and sets you on the path to recovery as soon as possible.
However, as we are all acutely aware, we are in the midst of a serious global pandemic that has affected many aspects of our lives and substantially changed the way we go about our daily routines. Because of this, you may be wondering how the many precautions being taken to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep each other safe and protected have changed the process of obtaining dental care & other types of emergency health care services. In this article, we will provide the information you need to know about getting emergency dental care during this difficult time, and what you can expect when you visit a Georgian Dental clinic to deal with a dental emergency.
One of the aspects of managing urgent dental care during COVID-19 is informing patients on what exactly constitutes a dental emergency, and what situations do not. Clearly understanding these distinctions will help avoid potential delays in obtaining the proper care, while simultaneously minimizing the strain on the dental clinic’s ability to aid patients promptly when the situation necessitates greater speed.
Is it a dental emergency or a medical emergency?
Differentiating between an emergency medical situation and a dental emergency can save you valuable time in getting the care you need most. Medical emergencies can include, but are not limited to, the following situations:
- Sudden intense pain, or pain of increasing intensity that will not subside
- Lacerations, deep cuts, or hemorrhages that are resulting in blood loss
- Severe impacts, falls from heights, broken bones, or blunt trauma
- Loss of balance, slurred speech, tingling in extremities, or impaired vision
- Intense head or chest pain, or sudden shortness of breath
In these cases, you should seek medical care promptly by calling your doctor or going to the nearest hospital emergency room without delay. In the most severe cases of injury, life-threatening situations, or imminent danger, you should call 911 immediately and follow their instruction.
For dental emergencies, where you should contact a dental office as opposed to a hospital emergency room or medical doctor, would include various types of oral health issues such as:
- Aches or pains localized in the teeth and/or jaw
- Knocked out tooth or teeth due to accidental impacts
- Chipped, broken, or cracked teeth
- Damaged dental appliances incl. braces or dentures
- Lost fillings, crowns, or bridges, or loose implants
- Other dental problems causing ongoing discomfort or pain
In cases such as these, it’s best to directly contact a dental office like Georgian Dental that provides emergency dental care services, and to do so as quickly as possible. In many cases of dental emergencies, such as those related to knocked out teeth, speed in obtaining the proper care can have a significant impact on the healing and recovery process.
How do I get dental help in an emergency?
Your first step in a dental emergency is to contact us by phone at (insert CallRail Emergency number) and speak with one of our team members about your specific emergency. We will ask you a series of questions to ensure that we understand your emergency, and will provide step-by-step instructions on where you need to go, at what time you should arrive, and what to expect during your emergency appointment.
Georgian Dental is proud to offer emergency dental care services, including late evening, weekend, and after-hours appointments. We are committed to providing urgent dental care to our patients to ensure that any potential damage is minimized, and your recovery can begin as quickly as possible, even during the current global pandemic situation.
On that note, we feel it is of utmost importance for our patients to understand that, even though you can still obtain urgent dental care in the case of emergency, there are certain safety measures and protective protocols in place that you should be aware of.
How has the Georgian Dental clinic changed due to COVID-19?
To help slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, Georgian Dental has instituted a strict set of procedures and installed new protective equipment in the Orillia and Barrie clinics to provide a safe environment for dental patients and our team.
Before you even enter the clinic, we are working diligently to clean and sanitize our facilities with multiple techniques and processes. We utilize an advanced ozone air sanitization system to completely flood the clinic every night, disinfecting all surfaces throughout the office, exam rooms, and treatment areas. In addition, our team manually cleans and sanitizes all contact areas such as door handles, chairs, and even our debit payment touchpads. High-contact surfaces are also sanitized after each use to prevent any potential transmissions.
Furthermore, we conduct thorough pre-screenings of all staff and patients before they are permitted to enter the clinic. This screening covers the COVID-19 symptom checklist, as well as a heart rate test and temperature scan. Patients are required to wear protective face masks at all times, unless under the direction of dentists and hygienists when patients are undergoing oral exams or treatments.
Georgian Dental staff wears all the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times, including face masks, face shields, gloves, and P100 respirators. We use P100 respirators as they are rated with a higher level of protection than even the N95 face masks, and exceed the requirements for use as PPE in dental clinics during COVID-19.
Other changes to the Georgian Dental clinics include clear plastic barriers in the reception area, as well as plastic room divider sheeting to separate exam and treatment areas from the rest of the clinic, preventing air movement through the different spaces inside the building. In-room HEPA filters and repositionable ‘vapor vac’ units continually clean and scrub the air, safely extracting airborne particles from all clinic spaces.
These are just a few of the many extensive safety measures and protective protocols that have been put in place at Georgian Dental to allow us to continue to provide essential dental health services to our patients and their families during the coronavirus pandemic. For a complete review of all clinic safety measures and COVID-19 changes, please refer to our COVID-19 dental clinic safety page for more information.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and take care during this difficult time.
We want to reinforce to you that the team here at Georgian Dental is always available to help you and your family with any dental care needs you may have, including emergency dental situations that may occur. Even with the lingering threats of COVID-19 still affecting our communities, you should feel confident and secure that we are taking all necessary precautions to keep you safe and protected from the risks of transmission when you visit our clinics.
If you have any questions or concerns about obtaining dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as they relate to dental emergencies, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time. Our team of dental professionals will be glad to answer your concerns in detail, and discuss the situation with you to ensure you are comfortable in getting the urgent oral care you need for your family.