How COVID-19 is Changing the Rules for Dental Emergencies

a young woman with  blonde hair holding her cheek in pain while listening to a dentist With the spread of COVID-19, social distancing and self-isolation are becoming more commonly used phrases. Masks and gloves are now a normal part of a person’s attire, and going to the movies or out to eat are being replaced with board games and at-home cooking. With this infectious disease changing the way we work and interact, it’s no surprise it is also impacting how we receive care at our local dental office. Because so many oral healthcare professionals are currently only seeing emergency patients, how do you know if what you are experiencing is an actual crisis? Let an emergency dentist in Brampton explain what you need to know to protect your smile.

COVID-19: What You Need to Know

As an infectious disease that causes respiratory illness, The World Health Organization (WHO) is reminding individuals to practice proper hygiene habits to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Also known as coronavirus, it causes fever, cough, and shortness of breath. While some patients are admitted for immediate medical attention, others can self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days.

To keep from getting sick, WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Also, people should practice social distancing during this time and avoid making any unnecessary trips outside the house if at all possible.

How to Know When It’s a Real Dental Emergency

The American Dental Association (ADA) recently released a document that explains which scenarios are considered dental emergencies and which ones are not. Before COVID-19, patients who experienced everything from a nagging toothache to a knocked-out tooth or abscess could call their dentist’s office and schedule an appointment. Unfortunately, times have changed, and dental staff members must determine which injuries should receive immediate care and which ones can be cared for at home in the meantime.

To better understand the recommendations of the ADA and what constitutes a real dental emergency, here are the categories:

  • Serious Dental Emergencies: These include continuous bleeding from the mouth, increased swelling that could potentially block the airway, facial trauma (i.e. broken jawbone) that could cause difficulty breathing.
  • Urgent Dental Emergencies: While it will be necessary to receive dental assistance at a later date, these situations can mostly be cared for at home. These include everything from a lost crown or filling, minor toothache, soft tissue injury, a chipped tooth that is not causing pain, or denture repair.
  • Non-Emergencies: These include routine checkups and cleanings, cosmetic treatments, orthodontic procedures, or asymptomatic tooth extractions.

It is important to remember that if you are experiencing severe tooth pain as a result of an abscess or other type of infection, or you have knocked out a tooth, you will need to see your dental professional as soon as possible.

Don’t be afraid to call your dentist’s office during this time. Their kind and caring staff will be available to address your concerns and provide step-by-step instructions on how to take care of your dental injury at home if it is not serious enough for immediate care.

About the Author
Dr. Vince Fava earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Toronto in 1995. As a highly-trained and skilled dental professional, he and his colleagues throughout Canada are facing a similar situation as the United States with regard to the spread of COVID-19. Currently only seeing emergency patients, Dr. Fava and the team at Torbram Dental are here to help answer your questions and address your concerns, especially if facing a dental crisis. No matter the type of injury, we encourage you to contact us at (905) 792-7163. We are here to help!

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Simrit has been working at Torbram Dental since 2001. She started her career with Assisting/Treatment co-ordinating and then moved on to becoming the Hygiene Co Ordinator in 2005. In 2012 she took on a new role as the Marketing Director. Though she loved being the Marketing Director, in 2015 she became the Office Manager of Torbram Dental. She completed her Level 1 Dental Assisting program with Career Canada in 1996 and then went on to complete her Level II Dental Assisting Diploma with Southwestern Medix in 1999. That is when she received NDAEB Certification. Simrit has been and still is an active member of the Ontario Dental Assistants Association since 2000. She enjoys hiking and traveling with her husband and two kids and loves to explore new restaurants, especially high-tea venues.

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Jessica, one of our receptionists, is one of the smiling faces you see when you arrive at the office. She graduated with honours from Medix College with a diploma as a Level 2 Dental Assistant. When she is not happily helping our patients, Jessica enjoys spending quality time with her friends and family, going to church on Sunday mornings, gardening and going on hikes.

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Naudia has been working at Torbram Dental for many years and is a valued member of our administrative team: as a dental receptionist and in our marketing team . She graduated from Everest College with honours level 1 and 2, with a diploma in Dental Assisting. Naudia is always there for our patients, making sure that they receive the care and attention they deserve. When not at the office, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking and indulging in civil court TV shows.

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Ramandeep has been a part of Torbram Dental for the past 10 years as certified dental assistant. She obtained her level 1 certification from Everest college in Brampton in 2013, and then her level 2 certification in 2014 from Medix college. Her career path through the clinic has been recognized by staff at all levels who admire her work ethic and dedication to million dollar smiles. In her spare time, Ramandeep enjoys cooking and gardening, and spending time with her husband and 2 kids.

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Sana is a valued member of our dental hygiene team. In 2008 she completed her education at George Brown in Dental Assisting and in 2016 she earned her diploma in Dental Hygiene from the Canadian Academy of Dental Health and Sciences. Sana has been working in dentistry since 2008 and enjoys taking care of our patients and helping them with their oral health. She is married and is busy with her 2 young children. In her spare time, Sana enjoys going out with the family, trying out new places to eat and is looking forward to travelling with them in the future.

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Sanaria has been working at Torbram Dental for many years as a valued member of our Dental Assisting Team. She completed her level 2 dental assisting certification and previously obtained a degree in Education and worked as a quality control officer in the pharmaceutical industry. When not at work Sanaria loves to bake and cook. She also loves story time and enjoying the outdoors with her children. She always sees the positive side of life, believes that nothing is impossible and that if you set a goal and work at it, that you will make your dreams come true.

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Carrie has been working at Torbram Dental since 2001. She graduated from George Brown College in 1998 with a Dental Assistant Diploma and continued to further her education by completing a Dental Hygiene Diploma in 2001 at Durham College. Carrie is a highly trained and experienced Registered Dental Hygienist who continues to learn and grow by updating her knowledge to provide her clients with the best Oral Health Care techniques and information. Carrie is passionate about Dentistry and is known for her gentle and compassionate manner. She feels strongly about building lasting relationships and trust with her clients to help them understand that good Oral Health leads to good Overall Health. Carrie enjoys travelling, dabbling in decorating and a good Netflix series in her time off. Carrie resides in Halton Hills with her husband and two children.

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Daniela's interest in Dentistry began in Gr.6 when she wrote a speech entitled "My Life as a Toothbrush".
A Registered Dental Hygienist with 22 years of clinical experience, Daniela still has a great passion for her career. The most rewarding aspect for her is building lasting relationships with her patients, and seeing them through to a healthier smile.
Her thorough yet gentle touch will ensure a comfortable visit every time.
Daniela is a total Foodie and loves to cook and enjoys all types of cuisines. She loves Florida, Cruises, organizing things, and most of all spending time with family and friends.

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Stephanie Enjoys getting to know all new patients at Torbram Dental and catching up with long standing Patients. Stephanie enjoys spending quality time with her family. One of her favorite things to do with her daughter is teach and play the piano. Stephanie likes going on walks with her husband and enjoys spending as much time with him as he is an Active Member of the Canadian Army. On Sundays, Stephanie enjoys going to Church and looks forward to Sunday Dinner with her entire family. Stephanie's Favorite thing to do to start her day right is head to her local Starbucks and Grab her favorite drink, an iced black tea with light lemonade on warm days and a blonde vanilla latte on those cold winter days.

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