How coronavirus is changing dental appointments

The global coronavirus pandemic is leading to the postponing  of routine dental appointments.  

Dentists are not permitted to provide a raft of routine dental treatments, such as check-ups and fillings, to minimise the spread of COVID-19.

Here’s how the coronavirus is changing the way we look after your teeth.

Why are these restrictions in place?

When dentists work on your teeth, they often produce aerosols – a mist made up of saliva & blood. This happens normally when a dentist carries out a filling, cleans your teeth and so on.

The Plaza Health dentists follow strict infection control procedures to lower the risk of transmission of infectious diseases. This keeps both patients and dentists safe.

But with the coronavirus/ COVID-19 pandemic, there is a high risk that the aerosols produced by routine dental treatments will help spread the virus. 

You can be infectious even if you feel well, not everyone will display symptoms.

Who’s making these recommendations?

The Irish Dental Association and the Orthodontic Society of Ireland have recommended dentists only provide emergency treatments that do not generate aerosols.

All routine examinations and treatments should be postponed until after the Coronavirus crisis has abated.

Stay safe, stay home.

Recommendations of what is and isn’t allowed may change over time.

What does it mean for me? Can I still get a filling?

What’s not allowed?

All non-essential dental care is now postponed to protect you and the dental staff.

This includes routine dental check-ups and all non-emergency treatment.

Dental treatments that will need to be postponed are:

  • Routine tooth extractions
  • Scale & Polishes 
  • Fillings 
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Bleeding or sore gums
  • Halitosis treatments (bad breath)
  • Denture treatments
  • Crowns, bridges, veneers & Implants
  • Jaw pain

What is allowed?

Some patients will need urgent care for severe problems.

Permitted treatments are limited to:

  • Tooth extractions (non-surgical) when someone is in acute pain caused by damage to the nerve in the tooth.
  • Management of ulcer & gum problems.
  • Providing care for patients with complex medical needs.

Can I still go to my regular Plaza Health dentist?

At Plaza Health we are only open to manage dental problems causing pain, that are urgent or are an emergency. So please call us and let us know what your dental emergency is. 

What if I have COVID-19 or may have it?

If you are in pain and need urgent dental treatment but believe you may have COVID-19, it’s important to call us and tell us about your symptoms or possible exposure. 

You may still be able to be treated but we will need to take extra precautions to protect staff and the public. 

If you have a dental emergency and have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you will be referred to the Dublin Dental Hospital. 

What can I do in the meantime?

Coronavirus/COVID-19 is going to be with us for many months ahead. So it’s more important than ever to look after our teeth and gums. 

Protect yourself with proper regular brushing, flossing and use of a medicated mouthwash. 

Reduce your sugar intake and stay away from sugary drinks. 

Stay safe, stay at home.