The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes – the unprecedented shutdown of virtually every business that deals with in-person customers has changed our society’s dynamic. Social distancing and self-isolation efforts are currently in place throughout Canada, including Alberta, which has restricted the number of patients that dental clinics can see. Understandably, life doesn’t stop during self-isolation, and dental issues may not receive the medical attention it otherwise deserves. For those looking for dental care amid the COVID-19 pandemic, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Procuring Dental Treatments
The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and the Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, have declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency and that every person should remain at home to prevent the contraction and spread of COVID-19. Many health care services have closed their doors to the public and are only providing care to individuals dealing with emergencies. All elective appointments that have been booked may need to be cancelled or rescheduled for a future date.
Emergency services are still available to people experiencing serious/severe oral health concerns. Here are a few examples of an oral health concern that may warrant immediate care:
- Severe physical trauma to the mouth and encompassing area
- Oral infection
- Significant bleeding in the mouth
- Debilitating pain that cannot otherwise be treated with over-the-counter medications (i.e. chronic toothache)
The list of services that oral care practitioners perform in Alberta is minimal due to the highly contagious COVID-19. All non-essential services will be dealt with later when the risk of spread and infection has diminished significantly. Here are a few standard procedures that dentists will not be performing at this time:
- Alterations to dentures
- Standard dental checkups or teeth cleanings
- Wisdom teeth removal
- Teeth whitening procedures
- Cosmetic procedures
Safety Measures at Our Dental Office
Our office remains open to treat patients that need emergency treatments to reduce the number of patients entering hospital waiting rooms. Before our healthcare team can proceed with a dental procedure, they must ensure they are healthy enough to work on a patient. Our employees must self-monitor and report if they are experiencing:
- A high fever
- A sore throat
- Persistent cough
- Breathing troubles
- Flu-related symptoms including lethargy, congestion, and persistent headaches
The role that dental offices play at a time like this will help reduce the number of non-emergency patients from entering hospital waiting rooms, which could prevent infections and further spread of the coronavirus. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, seek help immediately from your family dentist or contact Grande Prairie Family Dental Clinic today!