10 FAQs About Emergency Dental Care And How To Know If You Need It

It’s April, which means it’s oral health month. Initially, our staff had planned to get out of the office and provide some educational resources to the community. Unfortunately, that is no longer possible because it just isn’t safe.

At Shifa Dentistry, we have always been committed to the health and well being of our patients. Although we have ceased regular operations until further notice to limit the spread of COVID-19, we understand that our community is still in need of dental care, and many people are looking for answers. 

In this month’s blog, we have pulled together 10 FAQs regarding emergency dental care. We want to address some of your concerns and share more information about our emergency dental appointments. We also want to provide you with resources that will help you make informed decisions about your oral health.

10 FAQs About Emergency Dental Care

The health and wellness of our patients, community and employees are always our top priority. According to an article published by the New York Times , those who work in health care face the highest risk of contact with infectious disease. Furthermore, dentists are at the highest risk of all health care workers.

In light of our current situation, our office will remain open for dental emergencies but closed for routine dental procedures until advised by authorities because we are doing our part to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Please read Non-Essential Dental Services Paused In Light Of COVID-19 for more information about why we are temporarily closed. 

There are two significant reasons why we are providing emergency services. 

  • The fewer dental emergencies the hospitals have to process, the less clogged up the hospital system will be. By providing emergency services to the community, we are doing our part to ease some of the burden placed on Ottawa hospitals. 
  • Healing is at the cornerstone of what we stand for at Shifa Dentistry. We want to be there for our community and our patients by providing emergency care. If you are unsure about whether or not you are experiencing a dental emergency, please contact us. It is best to find out if you are having a crisis before your symptoms get worse. 

Find out more COVID-19 Dental Facts from the Ottawa Dental Association.

Unfortunately, we do not know when we will resume regular operations. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and should emergency directives be issued. We will take appropriate action. 

We will continue to share any new developments, including when our office will be re-opening and further recommended guidelines from The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) on our website and on social media. You can also call us or send us an email if you have any questions.

You will need emergency dental treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms. 

  • Trauma: Do you have an injury or damage to your mouth and face? 
  • Severe infection: Do you have an abscess or swelling in your mouth?
  • Bleeding: Are you concerned about oral bleeding?
  • Dental pain: Are over-the-counter medication not alleviating your pain?

The severity of the symptoms mentioned above will vary depending on each person’s circumstance. If you are not sure whether or not you have a dental emergency, give us a call, and we will help you assess what the best course of action is. 

During regular operations, we do accept walk in’s, but currently, we do not.

With the safety of our team, patients and community in mind, we have implemented a social distancing method that allows for one to two patients in the waiting room at a time. We must also prescreen patients to ensure that they are eligible for emergency dental care. 

We prescreen patients by asking the following questions.

  • Have you travelled out of the country in the past two to three weeks?
  • Have you been in close contact with anyone affected by COVID-19?
  • Have you been sick with acute respiratory illness in the past two weeks? 

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you must quarantine for 14 days and be symptom-free before you can book an emergency appointment with us. 

Prescreening also involves assessing your dental symptoms over the phone to determine if it is a real dental emergency. Depending on your answers, we can help you decide whether you need to contact the hospital, try preventative care methods, or if you can book an appointment with us. 

Yes, we can help our patients get emergency prescription medications by phone. We are also providing teledentistry as an option. For information about teledentistry, please give us a call or send us an email. 

We registered for emergency days with the Ottawa Dental Society. We will announce if we are granted more days in the future.
We are taking special precautions at our office including remote appointment check-in, tight control of spacing >6 feet, disallowing patients with active respiratory symptoms, and heightened cleaning and sanitization of all areas. Rest assured that we are taking all the necessary precautions. We train comprehensively for these scenarios as part of our overall emergency preparedness. Our office has always followed stringent infection prevention and control procedures and will continue to do so.

We are open to help you with any dental emergency you may have. We are following all of the guidelines recommended by the ADA and CDC, and you will be safe in our care. If you are concerned about your oral health, and you are unsure if you have a dental emergency, please reach out to us by phone or email. 

We want to thank you, our patients and the community for placing your trust in our team during this uncertain time. 

Yours in the interest of continued good health,

The Shifa Dentistry Team


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