The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) has recommended that all non-emergency dental services be postponed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
What’s Not Allowed?
Non-essential dental care is now postponed. This includes initial or periodic oral examinations and recall visits, and treatment where there is no pain, bleeding or swelling.
Other conditions or treatments that will need to be postponed include but are not limited to:
- removal of asymptomatic (non-pain/no swelling/no discomfort) teeth
- routine dental cleaning (scaling, polishing) and other preventive therapies
- restorative dentistry (e.g. dental fillings, asymptomatic broken or chipped teeth)
- bleeding or sore gums
- halitosis (bad breath)
- loose teeth (that aren’t a choking hazard)
- concerns about dentures
- jaw joint clicking or discomfort
- orthodontic procedures other than those to address acute issues (e.g., pain, infection, trauma, wire cutting into the gum/cheek)
- replacement of teeth with implants or bridges
- aesthetic dental procedures such as teeth whitening, veneers.
Why are these restrictions in place?
When we work on your teeth aerosols are often produced, that is, droplets or sprays of saliva or blood in the air. This happens routinely when we use a drill or when scaling and polishing, for instance.
Rest assured, we are well accustomed to following stringent infection control precautions under normal circumstances to lower the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, whether they are respiratory diseases or blood-borne. These precautions help keep both patients and staff safe because it assumes all patients may have an infection, despite the reality that most won’t.
However, with the coronavirus pandemic, there is an increased risk of aerosols carrying the virus either directly infecting our staff, or landing on surfaces, which staff or the next patient can touch.
This transmission may be possible even if you feel perfectly well, as not everyone with the virus has symptoms.
What is a true dental emergency?
In dentistry, a “true emergency situation” could include an injury to the mouth and face, severe infection (such as an abscess or swelling), bleeding that continues for a long time or pain which cannot be managed by over-the-counter medication like Advil or Tylenol.
If you think you have a dental emergency, please contact us via email or leave us a voice message at 905 270 5112 to provide information regarding you symptoms. We will relay this information to Dr. Saric or one of our associates who may make specific recommendations for you, or direct you to a dental office that is open for emergency visits.
Do not go to a hospital emergency room for a dental problem at this time.
The RCDSO has posted a list of dental practices that are prepared to treat emergency visits.
These office have indicated to the RCDSO that they currently meet required safety precautions, including access to and ability to safely use N95 masks, gloves, eye protection, face shields and protective gowns.
What can I do in the meantime?
COVID-19 is going to be with us for many months. So it’s important to look after your oral health by maintaining a healthy diet and oral hygiene routine.