With the world and the United States being swept by the COVID-19 crisis, the nation’s leading health professionals, and state and local governments have issued guidelines for Americans to follow to keep them as safe as possible. One of the preventive measures encouraged is for everyone to practice social distancing, which has caused some drastic changes in millions of lives. Unfortunately, the current outbreak doesn’t stop dental problems from happening. During these difficult times, what’s considered a dental emergency? Read on to find out from an emergency dentist in Jacksonville.

What’s Considered a Dental Emergency?

Any situation that requires immediate care to restore your oral health to normal is considered a dental emergency. The typical symptoms can range from tissue bleeding, severe pain or infection, to tooth breaks or loss.

For better clarification, here are some specific indicators issued from the American Dental Association (ADA):

  • Uncontrolled bleeding that lasts for more than 10 minutes
  • A soft tissue bacterial infection with swelling in the mouth or jaw, that can potentially compromise your airway
  • Trauma involving facial bones that could potentially inhibit your breathing

Your Dentist is Available

During this time, most dentists have temporarily stopped providing any non-essential care, which includes cosmetic dental procedures, certain restorative treatments and preventive dentistry. However, many are still available to provide care in emergency situations. Therefore, unless you have a broken jaw or profuse bleeding that has lasted for more than 10 minutes, you should pay your local dentist a visit instead of heading to the emergency room.

The Specific Types of Care Most Dentists are Providing

While many states are leaving the full extent of the care each dentist will provide to his or her own discretion, here are the types of issues that will typically be considered a higher priority:

  • Biopsy of abnormal tissue
  • Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation
  • Post-operative osteitis (also referred to as dry socket)
  • Dental trauma with avulsion/luxation (tooth dislodgement)
  • Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft tissue trauma
  • Dental treatment required before receiving critical medical procedures
  • Abscess or localized bacterial infection resulting in pain and swelling
  • Pericoronitis (gum tissue inflammation around a partially erupted molar)
  • Final crown/bridge cementation if a temporary restoration is lost, broken or causing gingival (gum) irritation

If you’re faced with a dental emergency, your local dentist and his or her staff are standing on the front lines ready to provide the care you need. So there’s no need to worry about fully recovering. Then, once COVID-19 is defeated, you’ll be able to visit semi-annually for checkups and cleanings, and to receive any other forms of care you desire.

About the Author

Dr. Jignesh Patel began his career at the prestigious Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Throughout the years, he has remained an avid learner, taking numerous hours of continuing education. Dr. Patel combines his vast knowledge and immense compassion to provide well-rounded and effective care to his patients. He is available to treat dental emergencies at Dental Center of Jacksonville, and he can be reached for more information through his website.