As this coronavirus situation has unfolded, all of us at Dr. Blum & Associates as well as all of our patients have been faced with questions about how to lead our daily lives while being told we must stay at home.
We’re getting numerous questions every day from our dental patients about handling their dental appointments and needs since the stay-at-home measures went into place. It is our hope that by sharing the answers to the most common questions you’ll feel more confident in managing your dental health during this time.
Is our dental office open?
Our dental office is open only for dental emergencies only. On March 16, the American
Dental Association issued guidelines advising dentists nationwide to postpone elective procedures for three weeks until April 6. This was further extended and we currently do not have an open date. At Dr. Blum & Associates, we have chosen to follow New York State opening guidelines. This will help limit exposure to and transmission of the virus for patients and staff.
Dental offices are allowed to see patients who are having an emergency. So, don’t worry if you should run into a problem – we are here for you and can and will provide emergency care.
What is considered a dental emergency?
Dental emergencies, according to the American Dental Association, “are potentially life-threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding [or to] alleviate severe pain or infection.”
What constitutes an emergency is actually pretty simple – it’s about pain or trauma.
Some common dental emergencies include:
- Severe dental pain (toothache)
- Pain from a wisdom tooth
- Post-operative pain from dental surgery or procedure
- An abscess or localized pain and swelling
- A broken tooth resulting in pain or cutting your tongue or cheek
- A tooth being knocked out
- Dental treatment if a temporary crown or bridge is lost, broken, or causing gum irritation
What about my dental checkup that’s scheduled?
This will be one of the few times that you’ll hear a dentist advise that you avoid your six-month checkup since routine hygiene and cleaning appointments are considered elective procedures.
Here is a list of elective or non-emergency dental procedures:
- Initial examinations (including x-rays)
- Periodic (six-month) checkups (also including x-rays)
- Routine dental cleanings and other preventive therapies
- Extraction of teeth that do not hurt (like having your wisdom teeth pulled)
- Fillings on cavities that aren’t causing pain
- Aesthetic dental procedures (such as whitening)
Make no mistake — six-month exams are still very important. As soon as we get the green light to see patients, we will get you scheduled for your routine checkup.
What safety measures will your office take if I have to come in for emergency treatment?
As health-care providers, our entire team is trained on the CDC guidelines for infection control and using the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves.
In our office we are requiring every patient to use hand sanitizer upon entering. We’re disinfecting every doorknob and countertop. From the front desk to the treatment rooms everything is wiped down between patient visits and at the end of
We are taking every measure to prioritize the safety of our patients, and our staff.
Is there anything I should do differently if I missed my regular checkup?
Make sure you are brushing and flossing. Do everything as you would normally. It’s never been more important to do the best job possible to maintain your oral health.
Since many of us will have extra time on our hands, make sure you brush at least twice a day for two minutes.
Here are a few ideas to protect your oral hygiene during this time
- Use a powered toothbrush.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash.
- Floss daily– if you don’t currently floss it’s a great opportunity to start. You have the extra time and once you’re in the habit you’ll like the extra clean feeling while also strengthening your gums!
Stay home, stay safe, and know that we’re here for you!
During this time that we’re all asked to stay home unless there is a dental emergency, If
you’re still unsure as to whether you need to be seen in the office, email us or call us.
During this time there will be a lot of things that may seem different in the dental office, but as soon as the virus is under control and it is safe to return for normal dental treatment, we’ll be happy to welcome you back!
Stay safe and healthy!