With COVID, patients, dentists and all office staff members have become more concerned than ever about health and safety. While our team has put safety first from the day we opened our practice, we can now see that our new safety procedures, driven by the pandemic, are positive developments for patients and staff for the long-term. The issue of safety is so important in light of COVID, we are running a six-part blog series about how dentists keep patients safe at the office. The sixth installment that follows below deals with an issue that can cause people to worry:

When is it OK to postpone a visit, and when is it important that I see the dentist no matter what?

Emergency Treatments

With certain symptoms, seeking emergency dental care promptly is very important. Postponements and delays can make the problem worse. Symptoms that call for immediate attention include:

  • A change in tongue texture
  • A cracked or broken tooth
  • A dental abscess
  • A loose tooth in an adult
  • A sore or growth on the mouth that doesn’t go away
  • Bleeding, achy gums
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Numbness in a tooth
  • Severe toothache, jaw or mouth pain
  • Swelling or clicking in the jaw or gums

Treatments That Can Be Postponed

If possible exposure to COVID or other pathogens makes you reluctant to visit the dentist, there are several areas where postponing your visit is OK. These include:

  • Routine cleanings: We recommend cleanings every six months for most patients. If your oral health is generally good, postponing for a month or two is probably OK — but it’s must better to keep to your six-month schedule if possible.
  • Elective procedures: Restorative and cosmetic treatments such as veneers, teeth whitening, teeth straightening and implants can be safely postponed in many cases. However, before you cancel or reschedule, contact us to discuss the best care option for you. There may be reasons why a “purely” cosmetic procedure is important to have done sooner rather than later.

It’s very important for you to feel confident in visiting the dentist, because regular exams and required treatment not only protect the health of your teeth and gums, a thorough dental exam can also help identify warning signs and reduce the risk of serious conditions including oral cancers and heart disease.

If you have questions or concerns about health and safety at McLean DDS, please contact us. We are eager to provide whatever information you need.

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