What is an Emergency Dental Procedure?

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, all “non-essential” businesses and services are forced to close all operations to stymie the spread of the virus. Dental offices, however, may remain open to serve all those facing “emergency” or “urgent” dental matters. Please continue reading and give our experienced Basking Ridge dental team a call to learn more about what constitutes an “emergency” or “urgent” dental matter, as defined by the American Dental Association.

Emergency Dental Procedures According to the ADA

The ADA defines dental emergencies as “potentially life-threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding, alleviate severe pain or infection.” Some examples of dental emergencies are as follows:

  • Uncontrolled bleeding in the mouth
  • Cellulitis or a diffuse soft-tissue bacterial infection with intra-oral or extra-oral swelling that potentially compromises the patient’s airway
  • Trauma involving facial bones, that may compromise the patient’s airway

Urgent Dental Care According to the ADA

Next, the ADA defines urgent dental care as “the management of conditions that require immediate attention to relieve severe pain and/or risk of infection and to alleviate the burden on hospital emergency departments. These should be treated as minimally invasive as possible.” Some examples of urgent dental situations are as follows:

  • Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation
  • Pericoronitis or third-molar pain
  • Surgical post-operative osteitis
  • Abscesses
  • Extensive dental caries or defective restorations causing pain
  • Manage with interim restorative techniques when possible (silver diamine fluoride, glass ionomers)
  • Suture removal
  • Denture adjustment on radiation/oncology patients
  • Denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded
  • Replacing temporary filling on endo access openings in patients experiencing pain
  • Snipping or adjustment of an orthodontic wire or appliances piercing or ulcerating the oral mucosa
  • Tooth fracture causing pain or soft tissue trauma
  • Dental trauma with avulsion/luxation
  • Dental treatment required prior to critical medical procedures
  • Final crown/bridge cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken or causing gingival irritation
  • Biopsy of abnormal tissue

Non-Urgent Dental Procedures According to the ADA

The ADA defines the following scenarios as “non-urgent”:

  • Extraction of asymptomatic teeth
  • Restorative dentistry or aesthetic procedures
  • Initial or periodic oral examinations and recall visits, including routine radiographs
  • Routine dental cleaning and preventive therapies
  • Orthodontic procedures other than those to address acute issues (e.g. pain, infection, trauma) or other issues critically necessary to prevent harm to the patient

If you believe you have an urgent or emergency dental matter, please give our compassionate, experienced dental team a call today. We are here to help you.

Contact the Dental Associates of Basking Ridge

Dental Associates of Basking Ridge is a compassionate, gentle, and professional state-of-the-art dental practice serving Basking Ridge, Morris & Somerset County. Our office is always ready to greet our patients with a smile, take the time to answer any questions, and provide the quality dental services our patients expect. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you!

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