With novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading rapidly, much of the country is shut down in order to slow the spread. This includes businesses, organizations, and even some healthcare professionals are closing their doors, especially for procedures deemed non-essential. So, how does receiving dental care factor into this? Is it considered essential or non-essential, and if you do need to visit a dentist office in Cary, how do you stay safe? To help you maintain your dental health during this pandemic, our dentists are sharing some best practices.
Maintaining Good Dental Health at Home
The first thing we want to stress is how important it is to maintain your dental health at home. We know that you’re probably out of routine, and it’s completely understandable, but make it a point to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. You want to avoid any dental emergencies that come from cavities or decay, plus healthy teeth can strengthen your immune system.
Recognizing Dental Emergencies
While staying in is important, if something does happen to a tooth or your gums, you may need to see a dentist immediately. Call a dentist for the following dental emergencies to be seen as soon as possible:
- Severe tooth pain that doesn’t go away with Tylenol or Advil;
- Swelling around a tooth or a knot on your gum which could be a sign of an abscess;
- Trauma to your teeth, or a tooth gets knocked out;
- A tooth cracks or breaks;
- Broken or lost crown or filling;
During the coronavirus outbreak, we would advise you to avoid going to a local emergency room for one of these issues, and see a dentist instead. Not only will this keep the emergency rooms clear for patients who are sick, this will reduce your exposure to potential illness.
Safety and Precautions from Coronavirus at the Dentist
It’s important to note that the risk of a dentist, dental assistant, or dental hygienist transferring coronavirus to a patient is slim to near non-existent. Dental healthcare professionals take strict precautions to use clean gowns, masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) with every patient as well as thoroughly disinfect and sanitize patient areas.
During this time, many dentist offices in Holly Springs and Cary are asking patients to come into the office to check in, but after that, patients can wait in their car or outside to practice social distance. Then, when it’s their turn, the receptionist can call or text them to come back to be seen.
Seeing the Dentist with Respiratory Symptoms
If you experience a dental emergency and have tested positive for coronavirus, have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, or you are showing symptoms, you can still be seen. Symptoms of coronavirus include:
- Temperature of 100.4°F or higher
- Sore throat
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of sense of smell/taste
Be sure to let your dentist office know your status, whether you have tested positive or have had symptoms, when making an appointment or calling them with a dental emergency.
Maintaining Dental Checkups
If you are concerned about checkups and routine preventative appointments during the outbreak, many dentists are not scheduling these. In fact, the majority of dentists in Wake County are only seeing patients on an emergency basis. At Sninski & Schmitt, we are seeing patients for routine cleanings and regular appointments because we are practicing very stringent cleaning and sanitizing guidelines as well as social distance protocols. Because of this, we feel confident that we are able to keep our team safe as well as our patients during this outbreak.
Schedule an Emergency Appointment or Routine Cleaning Today
If you have a dental emergency, want to schedule a regular appointment, or have questions about how we are keeping our patients safe, reach out to us. To speak with someone at our dentist office in Cary, call 919-467-2203 or call our Holly Springs location at 919-600-6262 or simply fill out our form below to send us a message.