Across the country, dental offices have been remaining largely closed to the public in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. While many people are doing their part to stay inside, what should you do if you feel like you’re having a dental emergency? Do you take a risk and visit an emergency dentist, despite not knowing for sure if what you’re experiencing is in fact an urgent issue? Below, you can learn exactly when it’s time to visit and when you can stay home.
Dental Issues That Don’t Require Immediate Care
While there are many dental issues that can be classified as dental emergencies, there are also many situations that do not necessarily require immediate care. While you should still call the dentist when an issue appears, it’s important not to panic if you have to wait a few days to be seen.
For example, if you chip or crack your tooth, but there is no pain associated with the damage, then your tooth can almost certainly wait a few days before needing to be examined. Just use caution when chewing food and avoid very hard foods until you can be seen.
Furthermore, if you notice tooth pain, but this discomfort is not associated with an abscess or the pain is not severe, it’s more likely that you can wait a few days before getting seen. However, you should still call your dentist right away. While you should always call the dentist if you experience tooth pain, not all tooth pain is constituted as a dental emergency. It’s important to call your dentist no matter what, whether the pain is severe or not as they and their team can provide guidance over the phone to improve your situation before you complete an official visit.
Finally, if you lose a crown or filling, you can use dental cement, denture adhesive or even sugar-free chewing gum if nothing else is available to temporarily reattach it. Just don’t ever resort to using super glue.
Signs You Should Visit Your Dentist
In the following circumstances, you should absolutely be seen by a dentist for emergency care. These include:
- Knocked-out tooth
- Painful cracked or fractured tooth
- Cracks or fractures that extend below the gum line
- Abscessed tooth (characterized by large bumps on your gum tissue and dark discolored enamel)
- Severe tooth pain (whether it’s caused by injury or tooth decay)
Avoiding Dental Emergencies During Quarantine
Dental emergencies have a tendency to come out of nowhere, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the right steps to reduce your overall risk while you’re staying inside. These tips include:
- Brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste
- Flossing daily
- Avoiding very hard foods or inedible materials (popcorn kernels, ice cubes, hard candy, toffee, pens, pencils, packing material, fingernails, etc.)
If you believe that you are experiencing a dental emergency, dental offices are ready to take your call!
About the Author
Dr. Craig O’Donoghue has been working in the dental field for over two decades and is fully equipped to manage and treat a wide variety of dental emergencies. Not only is he an expert in the field, but his office comes equipped with sedation options to make you feel comfortable while you’re there. If you have a dental emergency that needs treatment, you can contact him through his website.