Carmel NY, Danbury CT, Poughkeepsie NY, Hartsdale NY, Mt. Kisco NY
What is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is any situation that poses an immediate threat to the health of your teeth and supporting tissues. Dental emergencies are often the result of impact to the mouth, but they also can be caused by infection. To ensure the best possible outcome, any dental emergency should be evaluated by a professional immediately.
ADA Recommended Emergency Care Guidelines During COVID-19 Crisis
An executive order was issued on March 16, 2020, to assure uniform safety for everyone, so as an oral and maxillofacial surgery practice, we must close our doors to all aspects of care except dental emergencies and urgent dental care.
Northeast Implant & Oral Surgery will remain open for emergency and urgent dental care only. What constitutes a dental emergency during a state-mandated temporary shut-down of all other dental services? What qualifies as urgent dental care during this COVID-19 crisis?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), dental emergencies “are potentially life-threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding [or to] alleviate severe pain or infection.”
Dental emergency conditions include:
- uncontrolled bleeding
- cellulitis or a diffuse soft-tissue bacterial infection with intraoral or extraoral swelling that potentially compromises the patient’s airway
- trauma involving facial bones that potentially compromises the patient’s airway
The ADA defines urgent dental care as the management of conditions that require immediate attention to relieve severe pain and/or risk of infection and to alleviate the burden on hospital emergency departments.
Urgent dental care conditions include:
- Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation
- Pericoronitis or third-molar pain
- Surgical post-operative osteitis, dry socket dressing changes
- Abscess or localized bacterial infection resulting in localized pain and swelling
- Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft tissue trauma
- Dental trauma with avulsion/luxation
- Dental treatment required prior to critical medical procedures
- Final crown/bridge cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken or causing gingival irritation
- Extensive dental caries or defective restorations causing pain
- Suture removal
- Denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded
- Replacing temporary filling on endo access openings in patients experiencing pain
- Snipping or adjustment of an orthodontic wire or appliances piercing or ulcerating the oral mucosa.
We have been ordered to refrain from providing non-emergency dental procedures at this time.
Non-emergency dental procedures include:
- Initial or periodic oral examinations and recall visits, including routine radiographs
- Routine dental cleaning and preventive therapies
- Orthodontic procedures other than those to address acute issues (e.g. pain, infection, trauma)
- Extraction of asymptomatic teeth
- Restorative dentistry, including treatment of asymptomatic carious lesions
- Aesthetic dental procedures
Dental Emergency FAQs
What do I do if my tooth is knocked out?
For permanent teeth that are knocked out, rinse the tooth and put it back in the socket. If you can’t get the tooth back in the socket, place it in a container of milk, water or saliva to keep it moist. Do not touch the roots (handle the tooth by the crown) and don’t brush the tooth. Contact us IMMEDIATELY for information and emergency treatment – the sooner you get to us, the more likely we can save your tooth! For baby teeth that are unexpectedly knocked out, leave them out and contact us immediately for instructions
How do I manage Pain?
If you can’t get into our office immediately, here is a list of effective home remedies to make you more comfortable while you wait for care:
- Warm water rinses for sore teeth and gums.
- Over the counter pain medication such as ibuprofen (NOT aspirin).
- Ice packs applied to the outside of cheeks.
- Dental anesthetics containing benzocaine may be used as directed on the package for pain.
- Avoid overly hot and cold beverages and foods to reduce sensitivity.
- Heating pads may be used for jaw pain.
- Avoid chewing in the injured area.
- If a broken tooth has a sharp edge, cotton can be placed over it to protect soft tissues in your mouth.
Do all dental emergencies cause pain?
Some dental emergencies may not cause pain initially. For example, a cracked tooth may not hurt, but it may lead to nerve damage in the roots. For this reason, all of the listed conditions need immediate attention, whether or not pain is present.
It is our sincere hope that this guide helps answer your questions during this unprecedented time. We regret that we cannot see you face to face, but we want you to know you we are in this together, and you are not alone. We look forward to rescheduling your missed appointments at the soonest available opportunity.
If you know of someone who has a dental emergency or is in need of urgent dental care, please feel free to share our information with them. Northeast Implant & Oral Surgery is open for those with urgent or emergency needs.
-Source credit, ADA.org