Are Dentists Open for Urgent and Emergency Care During COVID-19?

The COVID-19 outbreak has upended our lives in a number of ways. As cities looked to reduce transmission, many have implemented business closures and stay-at-home orders. Throughout much of the country, only essential businesses are still operating during COVID-19. Are dentists among these essential businesses? Here’s what you should know. 

Dentists Still Offering Emergency Care

While most dental offices are still open during the COVID-19 outbreak, the vast majority are only providing essential or emergency care. In an effort to balance social responsibility with patient care, most dentists are only seeing patients for painful or serious issues requiring timely treatment. While you may not be able to get a cleaning right now, you can still get treatment for things such as dental pain, infections and damaged teeth at these specific offices.

What Is a Dental Emergency?

During the outbreak, you will need to contact your dentist to see if your issue qualifies as a timely emergency. Some common examples include:

  • An especially painful issue
  • Signs of a potential infection
  • A cracked or broken tooth
  • Oral trauma requiring prompt treatment

To treat timely issues, most dentists are still providing root canal therapy, extractions and other emergency treatments. To know if your issue qualifies, call your dentist.

What to Expect During COVID-19

While they are treating emergency issues during the outbreak, most dental offices are functioning a bit differently than usual. In addition to following ADA guidelines for minimizing transmission, many dental offices are taking patients’ temperatures and asking them to wait in their cars to keep reception areas empty. 

When visiting your dentist, be sure to ask about any extra steps you may need to take before and during your appointment. You should also carefully adhere to any special requests to help minimize the risk of infection during your emergency dental treatment.