Covid 19 - Emergency Dental
Going to the Dentist During Lockdown
This may be the most important blog we write this year, or any year. Please read it carefully.
The global crisis which we are currently experiencing must be taken seriously. So must your dental health care. This includes doing all we can to stop the spread of Covid-19. It also includes not becoming infected ourselves. We can’t help you if we’re sick.
The COVID 19 Alert Level 4 which we are currently under means all non-essential and elective dental treatment is on hold until further notice. While oral health treatment is listed as an essential service and a priority by the government the only treatment we can provide, with appropriate precautions taken, is that which requires urgent care, emergencies, or relief of pain that you can’t manage through medications and which cannot be deferred.
To ensure the health and safety of our staff at this stage we have only three branches open:
Riccarton: 03-341 1122
Tauranga: 07-571 1230
Whangarei: 09-438 4760
Depending on demand and in an effort to keep our staff safe our Branches will not be open for their regular hours. Please call the Branch to discuss availability.
Things to be aware of during lockdown if you have a dental emergency.
1. Please take the lockdown seriously. Do not make unnecessary trips outside your home and don’t panic. This means taking the government directive about dental care seriously as well.
2. Our patients will be able to receive advice over the phone and will also be triaged the same way. Triage simply means that we will assess your case’s urgency and our ability to offer the type of treatment you need.
3. We will only see urgent, emergency situation cases. Urgent care includes the following:
- Dental or soft-tissue infections which are only localised
- Severe pain controllable by medication or the patient following self-help advice
- Fractured teeth or pulpal exposure
- Adjustment or repair of dental appliances where patient health is significantly impacted
4. Dental emergencies also include:
- Trauma-including facial, oral laceration and or dentoalveolar injuries, such as the tearing of a permanent tooth
- Serious oro-facial swelling that is worsening
- Post-extraction bleeding the patient is not able to control with local measures
- Dental conditions that have resulted in acute systemic (non-localised) illness or raised temperature as a result of dental infection
- Severe trismus - spasm of the jaw muscles spasm locking the jaw shut, typically as a symptom of tetanus
- Acute infections likely to exacerbate systemic (non-localised) medical conditions such as diabetes
5. If these apply, we may need to refer you to a specialist. We will ask you a possibly lengthy series of questions when you call to make an appointment. Please be patient and understand that the information you provide is critical.
6. No patient will be permitted into the surgery without a prior phone call and an appointment.
7. When you arrive at the surgery, please call us on your phone so that we can manage the social distancing directive efficiently.
8. If you have broken a tooth, or have any other non-elective dental need, please call and we will gladly give you advice over the phone.
9. Treatments will only be provided to COVID 19 LOW RISK patients.
10. Treatments which generate aerosols can not be undertaken.
11. No cash payments will be accepted. All payments must be done via eftpos.
If we all take the lockdown seriously, we will get through this lockdown time that much quicker. Don’t forget to brush twice a day and to floss!
Stay Home. Stay safe. Save Lives