How to Define Dental Emergencies During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Jul 16, 2020

Almost overnight, COVID-19 has brought the world to its knees. Its effects have been felt in every sector of the world’s economy. Medical practices have been forced to limit the in-office visits to aid in fighting the coronavirus’s spread.

The coronavirus has changed how we live and even carry out our daily routines. Routine dental care is out of the question, and we can only handle dental emergencies.

Most people are wondering what merits a dental visit during these uncertain times. For this reason, we have telephone and video conferencing for consultation, support, and guidance for treatment. Emergency tele-dental exams can be done to ascertain if your issue warrants you to visit our dentist in Rifle, CO.

Teledentistry 101

In a nutshell, teledentistry utilizes telecommunication technology coupled with video conferencing to conduct examinations and consultations. However, this is not a substitute for physical dental work.

It merely eliminates the walk-ins and offers an alternative way of consulting with our dentist. It is also convenient since it is done in the comfort of your home.

Not that this was not there before, but it has become popular because of the pandemic. It helps curb the spread of the pandemic by reducing physical visits.

Before you rush to seek our emergency dentistry in Rifle, CO, it is best to know what is defined as an emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic and what is not.

What an Emergency Is Not

Generally, if you have a dental issue that can wait until you see our dentist in Rifle, CO, in a couple of days, it’s not an emergency. With proper care, most of the problems that seem critical at the moment can actually be less severe than you think.

For example, if you have a cracked tooth and there is minimal bleeding and does not hurt, you can wait to see your dentist.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, certain issues have to be dealt with via telephone. Also, dental emergencies have been redefined a bit, to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, then there is a high chance that you can deal with the problem at home via teledentistry:

  • Sensitive teeth
  • A toothache that causes a dull aching pain or comes and goes
  • Sharp pain when biting down
  • A broken or chipped tooth
  • Discomfort from dentures
  • A missing or loose crown or veneer
  • Mouth ulcers that have lasted less than ten days
  • Pain with wisdom teeth and there is no swelling or restricted mouth opening due to pain
  • Orthodontic problems

What Is a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency can be described as any scenario in which you have sustained a severe facial or mouth injury and need immediate medical attention. Also, if you have an infection that is causing a foul smell, pain, and fever, you need to seek immediate medical attention. At times, these infections can be life-threatening, especially when they spread to the rest of the body.

It is critical that you call our Rifle dentist working during the corona pandemic as soon as possible if you have:

  • Excruciating pain which is causing you to lack sleep or concentration
  • Uncontrolled bleeding because of facial trauma
  • A knocked-out tooth
  • A broken tooth that is causing pain and damage to your tongue and cheek and you haven’t been able to manage it with self-help advice
  • Mouth ulcers, which after two weeks, haven’t healed
  • Swelling on your cheek, face or gum that is spreading down to your neck or along the floor of your mouth or up to your eye
  • Undergone tooth extraction recently and you are bleeding more than 20 minutes, and you cannot stop the bleeding even if you bite down a gauze or handkerchief
  • Followed self-help advice for some time about your problem and the pain keeps getting worse

Tips and Tricks for Managing Common Dental Emergencies

During the emergency tele-dental exams, our Rifle dentist working during the corona pandemic can walk you through many dental issues. However, here are some tips you can employ during an emergency:

  • Knocked-Out Tooth

If your tooth is knocked out, locate it, then pick it up by the top and avoid handling it by the root. Gently and carefully rinse it out using lukewarm water, so as you do not remove any natural tissues.

If possible, try to reattach the tooth and bite it down to hold it in place. If not, store in milk while you wait for your appointment.

  • Severe Toothache

Toothaches can be incapacitating. However, you can try to floss to remove food debris that might be stuck in between your teeth. Then, swish warm salty water to aid with infection and pain.

If the pain persists, then contact our dentist and await further instructions.

  • Broken or Cracked Tooth

If you have a broken or cracked tooth, check the surrounding gums and teeth if they are damaged. Carefully, swish water in your mouth to ease the bleeding and remove any leftover tooth debris.

Bite down a sterile gauze to stop the bleeding. You can try to cover the sharp edges with dental wax to avoid further damage. You can bring any large fragments into our office during your next appointment.

If you are faced with any dental issue, do not hesitate to call us at Rifle Dental Care, and we would love to help you irrespective of the “new” normal.

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