If you look back through history at some of the most recent viruses to plague the United States and other countries, you will find SARS, H1N1, and Ebola on that list. Although each has brought its problems, symptoms, and lasting effects, it’s safe to say that the majority of individuals alive today have never before experienced the kind of life-altering effects that COVID-19 has caused. Dental offices throughout the country are shutting down and halting all regular and routine treatments and procedures and instead, are using their resources to treat emergency patients only. But what constitutes a real crisis that deserves seeing a professional? How can you stay safe amid the coronavirus outbreak? Let your dentist explain.
What is COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?
As an infectious disease that attacks the respiratory system, COVID-19 is known to cause cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Individuals who have compromised immune systems are most at risk for contracting the virus as well as people who are 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How to Avoid Contracting the Virus
If you want to avoid the possibility of getting COVID-19, there are a few simple tips to follow:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If necessary, use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are unavailable.
- If you are not sick, practice social distancing when out retrieving necessities or stay at home. If you are sick or have been tested and are positive for COVID-19, self-quarantine for at least 14 days.
When to Seek Immediate Dental Help for an Emergency
You may be wondering how you can receive help for a dental emergency if you’re being told by officials to stay home. First, remember that if it’s a true crisis, your dentist is still available to see you. When calling to report your injury to the staff, the team at Aesthetic Dentistry of Wickford will determine if you need immediate care. Second, understand that your dental team is diligently working to sterilize and disinfect all tools, equipment, and surfaces to protect anyone who comes into the office. Third, some situations will not require immediate care, at which time, Dr. Verbeyst’s team will offer recommended tips on how to treat your problem at home in the meantime.
If you have extreme tooth pain that is not going away with a pain reliever or a cold compress, it may be that you have an infection (i.e. abscess) and need to be seen immediately. Also, if you have knocked out a tooth, your emergency dentist will need to treat the problem as soon as possible.
No matter what type of dental accident you incur, trust that your Aesthetic Dentistry of Wickford team is ready to help. Whether providing step-by-step instructions over the phone or caring for your need in-house, we want to ensure your teeth and gums remain intact and on track.
About the Author
Dr. John Verbeyst has been practicing dentistry for more than 30 years. Joining Aesthetic Dentistry of Wickford in July 2012, he brings years of experience and knowledge that he uses to treat, repair, and enhance his patient’s smiles. Earning his bachelor’s degree from Villanova University in 1984, he went on to obtain his Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree from Farleigh Dickinson University in 1988. Currently only seeing patients with dental emergencies at this time due to COVID-19, he and his team continue to provide high-quality customer service over the phone to help individuals in need. If you believe you have a dental emergency, visit our website or call (401) 295-5511.