COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it for the foreseeable future. While we all try to navigate the impact of the virus on everyday life, it is still important to seek treatment for other health issues, including oral health.
While the pandemic means that visiting the dentist for scheduled appointments is not always an option, dental offices are still open for essential treatments. As a patient, knowing when to contact your dentist for an appointment may cause anxiety in these confusing times.
To help you decide, various organizations including the American Dental Association and the CDC have issued guidelines to dental practices. The following list covers most of the oral health problems that are outlined in the recommendations.
Essential Dental Treatments
Essential dental treatments are available from Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta. In many cases, our team will make a determination on treatment based on the patient experience. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, reach out to our offices for further advice and guidance.
Our primary concern is for the overall health of patients. To mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19, we are limiting appointments at our Atlanta offices. However, your oral health is also important, so do not suffer in silence with dental pain or other serious issues.
Active dental infections can lead to several oral health complications and therefore qualify for essential treatment. An infection can spread quickly and cause pain, discomfort, decay and tooth loss. Some of the signs of an active infection include toothache, bad breath and sensitive teeth.
If you suspect that you have an active infection or have already had an appointment, reach out to our offices to determine if you need a return visit. We will ask you about your symptoms so you won’t have to come to our offices unless necessary.
Moderate to Severe Decay
Moderate to severe decay is noticeable in a number of ways. You may see the effects of decay on your teeth. Alternatively, badly decayed teeth are detectable when the tongue slides over the surface. Pain and discomfort are also possible symptoms of tooth decay.
Although mild decay does not constitute essential treatment, you should contact Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta for advice. We can provide guidance on preventing further decay, and how to recognize moderate to severe decay. In the case of the latter, an appointment at our offices is likely the next step.
A fractured tooth is often more of an aesthetic issue that impacts the appearance of your smile. However, when you are experiencing pain and discomfort, treatment is often necessary. Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta will make a determination based on the severity of damage to the tooth, in combination with pain levels.
When your tooth is cracked, you may experience constant pain or pain that presents when eating food. In both cases, your dentist may recommend treatment at our Atlanta offices. An important part of that decision hinges around further potential damage to the affected tooth.
Patients who require emergency dental care are prime candidates under the essential treatment rules. If dental trauma has caused bleeding, severe pain or is impacting on functionality, our team will provide treatment. You should not ignore severe dental pain, tooth damage or the inability to comfortably speak or eat.
Speak to the team at Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta if you are in need of emergency dental care. Due to the circumstances created by COVID-19, our offices may be busier than expected. Do not delay in seeking an appointment if your symptoms are severe enough to warrant an emergency.
Patient in Pain
The recommendations coming from relevant organizations are broad in scope. However, patients who are suffering pain should seek essential dental treatment. Where pain is the result of damage to a tooth, you should call our offices to discuss symptoms right away.
If your teeth, gums or jaw are painful for a prolonged period of time or pain is severe in nature, when the pain is accompanied by limited function in the mouth, bad breath, headaches or fever, emergency treatment may be necessary. An experienced dentist can provide recommendations on a case-by-case basis.
Non-Essential Dental Treatments
When it comes to non-essential dental treatments, there are gray areas. Some procedures are necessary when the patient is experiencing pain and discomfort, even if the issue appears cosmetic in nature. Additionally, periodontics technically falls under the non-essential umbrella except if there is a risk of further health complications from conditions such as diabetes.
If you are in any doubt about the nature of your oral health issue, err on the side of caution by contacting Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta. We are committed to ensuring that all patients who have a genuine need for treatment are given appointments at our offices.
Mild decay may become visible, but does not qualify for essential treatment. Continuous or severe pain, however, is an issue that requires attention. As a rule, patients should consult with Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta if they are experiencing oral pain, discomfort or reduced function when speaking or eating.
We understand that our patients do not have the ability to self-diagnose. Our team has received additional instructions on dealing with over-the-phone enquiries. When you call the offices of Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta, we take great strides to ensure you are provided with access to treatment where appropriate.
Restoration Replacement without Decay
Restoration replacement for crowns is an essential treatment if the patient is experiencing pain or there is a serious risk to oral health. The professionals at Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta are specialists who can accurately assess your needs. If you have concerns about a loose or detached restoration, reach out to discuss treatment options.
If your restoration does not necessitate replacement, we will provide all the information you need for essential oral healthcare. Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta hopes to return to treating all patients as soon as possible, so patients should check our site periodically for COVID-19 updates.
Unfortunately, continuing care is not considered essential treatment under the guidelines. If you are in the middle of a dental treatment plan, we will provide further updates via text message. Any patients who do not receive an update should contact our offices for guidance. It is also important to make Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta aware of any deterioration of current oral health conditions.
The guidelines surrounding COVID-19 for dental care are subject to change. We aim to keep all our patients up-to-date in accordance with recommendations. We look forward to the day that patients are able to receive any of the specialist treatments we offer in Atlanta.
Implants & Bridges
Other treatments that are currently considered non-essential include implants and bridges. As with all other treatments, other than aesthetic cosmetic procedures, exceptions may apply for some patients. We recommend that patients call our offices immediately if there is any doubt about the severity of an oral health issue.
Treatments that are considered essential may include restoration procedures for damaged or missing teeth. We endeavor to protect the oral health of our patients while reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19. All approved treatments are therefore offered after careful consideration. Patients who are in most need of pain relief or other dental care are prioritized.
Call Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta if you would like further information about treatment options or how to improve oral health during the pandemic.