COVID-19 – Dental Emergency or Non-Emergency?

COVID-19 dental emergency or a non-emergency?

During the COVID-19 outbreak, The American Dental Association and the Pennsylvania Dental Association have called upon dentists to postpone all elective dental procedures in order to help mitigate the spread of the virus. Verber Dental Group and it’s offices are following these instructions and have reduced our schedules to only see patients that are experiencing a true dental emergency. Fortunately, we’re uniquely positioned to be able to handle special emergency cases and we’ll be rotating our practices to allow for sanitization and microbe extinction.

By only taking on emergency dental procedures during this trying time, we’ll be able to alleviate the burden of dental emergencies that would otherwise be placed upon Central PA’s local emergency rooms and hospitals. 

Are you experiencing dental problems during the COVID-19 outbreak?

The following guidelines and lists can help you determine if your current dental issues are considered “emergency” or “non-emergency” during this time. As with everything else right now, these recommendations may change as the COVID-19 pandemic changes or progresses. Please contact us at 717.737.4337 for the most up-to-date information when determining the best approach for treatment or need for urgent dental care. 

The following list comes directly as guidance from the Pennsylvania Dental Association.

1. Dental Emergencies

A true dental emergency is one that is potentially life threatening and requires immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding, or to alleviate severe pain or infections including:

  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Cellulitis or a diffuse soft tissue bacterial infection with intra-oral or extra-oral swelling that potentially compromise the patient’s airway
  • Trauma involving facial bones, potentially compromising the patient’s airway

Urgent dental care focuses on 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. These should be treated as minimally invasively as possible. 

  • 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 

Other urgent dental care: 

  • Extensive dental caries or defective restorations causing pain 
  • Manage with interim restorative techniques when possible (silver diamine fluoride, glass ionomers)
  • Suture removal 
  • Denture adjustment on radiation/oncology patients 
  • 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

2.Dental non-emergency procedures

Routine or non-urgent dental procedures include but are not limited to: 

  • 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

Verber Dental Group including Verber Family Dental, Rother Dental, Fox Dental, Noll Family Dentistry, Capozzi Dental, Alfano Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, The Pennsylvania Center for Periodontology, and the Dental Implant Center of PA are committed to providing the highest quality emergency dental care during this time and we will be adhering to the latest guidelines from the American Dental Association and Pennsylvania Dental Association.

We will continue to update our patients and residents in Central Pennsylvania with our current status related to all emergency dental-related procedures during this time. You can stay up-to-date on our Facebook page

We ask that you remain calm during this time and if you had any routinely or  non-emergent scheduled appointments with us, to allow our team to contact you about rescheduling for a later date. If you have a current dental emergency defined in the list above, you can contact us at 717.737.4337.

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