What Are Dental Emergencies?According to the ADA, dental emergencies are “potentially life-threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding [or to] alleviate severe pain or infection.” The guide released to dentists back in March goes into even more detail to give specific examples of potential dental emergencies. Let’s take a look.
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Cellulitis or soft tissue infection with swelling that can affect breathing
- Trauma to facial bones that may reduce someone’s ability to breathe
Urgent Dental CareThere is also a subset of the ADA’s guidelines to emergency dental needs called urgent dental care. These problems may still require dental care quickly and include:
- Severe dental pain caused by pulpal inflammation
- Third-molar pain
- Tooth fractures with pain or resulting in soft tissue trauma
- Post-op complications such as dry socket
- Abscess or localized bacterial infection with swelling
- Dental trauma that results in a lost tooth
- Lost or broken temporary restoration or if a restoration is irritating the gum tissue
Non-EmergenciesAt this time, dental offices are discouraged from having preventive, routine appointments or seeing patients with non-urgent needs such as:
- Initial consultation for cosmetic procedures
- Restorative dentistry such as fillings if there is no pain
- Extractions of teeth that are not causing pain
- Dental cleanings, x-rays, and routine checkups.
*As information about COVID-19 changes regularly both at the state level and on a national scale, please check your local area for the most recent updates regarding dental care.