Taking Care of Your Teeth During the COVID-19 Pandemic and EMERGENCY DENTAL CARE

At the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, our Dental Department is always dedicated to making sure that our patients maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic however, our dental patient care has been temporarily limited. The American Dental Association (ADA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC)have mandated that all dental facilitiesstop all non-urgent or non-essential dental procedures. These very drastic measures were undertaken to protect our patients and staff and to also prevent the spread of the virus.

The Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center is offering urgent and emergency dental care during this COVID-19 crisis. Hospital emergency rooms are already overwhelmed and overburdened and we do not want our patients sitting for hours in local emergency departments where they could be exposed to COVID-19only to be informed that they cannot be seen or that they must visit their dentist to have proper x-rays and treatment. Our patients’ safety and dental health have always been top priorities at JPA.

Some of the non-urgent dental procedures that have had to be postponed are routine dental exams and cleanings, orthodontic care, fillings and crowns for teeth that don’t hurt, dentures, x-rays and cosmetic treatments. In other words, any procedure that is not life threatening and does not adversely affect a patient’s health will need to be postponed or rescheduled for a later date.

EMEGENCY DENTAL TREATMENT

According to the ADA, patients can and must be seen for emergency dental treatment. Emergency care is required for any serious dental problem that can be potentially life threatening.
These conditions include:

  • Severe pain
  • Dental infections causing swelling of gums, face or neck
  • Bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • Broken teeth that are causing pain or are sharp enough to cut the cheeks or tongue
  • Temporary crown that is loose or broken
  • Denture that is painful and preventing patient from chewing or swallowing properly.

Currently two of our sites, Sites 1 and 3, are open Monday through Friday from 9AM-5PM to treat emergency patients. Please contact our dental department if you need emergency dental care and you will be given an appointment to see one of our experienced and caring dentists as soon as possible. If you choose to walk in for care, please be assured that you will be seen as soon as one of our dentists is available.

There are certain things however, that you and your families can do at home during this crisis that will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy. The most important thing that you can do at home to maintain the health of your teeth and gums is:

  • Brush twice a day with a soft toothbrush for at least two minutes in the morning and two minutes at night
  • Floss once a day.

The goal is effective plaque control which will go a long way towards preventing cavities and periodontal disease.

Isolation and boredom during these trying times can lead to excessive snacking so please try to avoid snacks that contain high amounts of sugar and starch such as soft drinks, cakes, cookies, chips and candies. All these snacks produce acids in the mouth which can dissolve healthy tooth structure and lead to cavities and gum disease. Especially try to avoid hard or sticky snacks such as popcorn or peanut brittle that can break teeth or pull out existing fillings and crowns. Lastly, make sure that you keep your bodies healthy by keeping fully hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will also reduce the acidity in the mouth and will prevent cavities.

Alan Friedman D.D.S.
Dental Director

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