It’s been almost a month since Illinois lawmakers issued a stay-at-home order. In Blue Island and beyond, people’s lives have been turned upside down. Businesses are closed. School is taking place online. Appointments have been canceled – including many visits to the dentist.
We all know that oral health is an important part of our general well-being. We also know that regular visits to the dentist help keep our teeth as healthy and beautiful as possible.
So what do you do if your next dental visit occurs during quarantine? Here are a few things you should know to keep yourself healthy during this challenging time.
The Risks of Dental Care During COVID-19
Under normal circumstances, professional dental care is vital to your overall wellness routine. Your dentist can examine your teeth and gums for potential problems, help improve your brushing and flossing technique and perform deep cleaning procedures that make your mouth healthier than ever.
However, it’s no secret that we are not currently living through “normal circumstances.” Today, people around the world are battling the novel coronavirus. This disease – also called COVID-19 – is an illness that passes from person to person through coughing, talking, or even breathing. The CDC has reported that COVID-19 can linger in the air for up to three hours, potentially infecting anyone who breathes it in.
The highly contagious nature of this virus makes close social contact risky. This is why lawmakers have banned large gatherings and encouraged social distancing policies. It’s also why many businesses – including doctors and dentists – are limiting their operations. By skipping a dentist appointment during this time, you just might be saving countless lives.
Is My Dental Office Open?
Obviously, medical offices cannot fully shut their doors during this quarantine period. Dental professionals provide a necessary service, and they must be available for people who need care. However, it is possible to minimize the risk of infection.
Dentists across Illinois (including Blue Island Smiles) follow all ADA guidelines for maintaining cleanliness in their offices. Additionally, these dentists are adopting the new CDC guidelines for providing dental care. These guidelines state that dentists should postpone all routine appointments and limit their services to dental emergencies only.
What Counts as a Dental Emergency?
Currently, Blue Island Smiles is only taking appointments for patients whose needs count as a dental emergency. How do you know if you fit the criteria? Simple: if your dental problem is life-threatening or causing severe pain, it’s an emergency. According to the ADA, examples of medical emergencies include:
- Uncontrolled bleeding of the gums
- Severe dental pain caused by inflammation of dental pulp
- Abscesses or bacterial infection that causes pain and swelling
- Tooth fractures or knocked-out teeth
- Repairing crowns or bridges (if the temporary restoration is lost or broken)
- Any dental treatment deemed a prerequisite to other critical medical procedures
As you can see, routine checkups, deep cleanings, or cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening don’t fall under the list of emergencies. These appointments will be postponed for the time being, out of concern for the safety of our patients and our staff.
Learn More at Blue Island Smiles
At Blue Island Smiles, we understand that COVID-19 has upended daily life for everyone. We want you to know that your health and safety is our number-one concern during this time. Therefore, you can reach out to our office if you have any questions about rescheduling an appointment or if you have a dental emergency that needs treatment.