Coronavirus & Your Dental CareKeeping You Safe & Smiling
Coronavirus recommendations from the Dentist
In the midst of Coronavirus spreading, we at Dr. Alanson Randol, DDS in Roseburg, OR have been monitoring this situation very closely for the past three months. As health care providers during a pandemic, we will continue with the relief of pain and management of infection with our patients in order to keep them out of hospitals and emergency departments.
As the spread of COVID-19 continues, we have received several questions from our patients:
Should I go to the dentist if I’m having pain?
Remember, social distancing is key to controlling the spread of Coronavirus. Also, the key to your optimal health is to make sure you don’t end up with dental infections. As someone who has first-hand experience of seeing patients suffer due to letting infections play out, we suggest all our patients visit the dentist if they experience pain, swelling or discomfort. Presently, dentists across the US have been recommended to see only those patients with dental emergencies and infection.
Some examples of dental emergencies are:
- Wisdom tooth pain/ infection (your mouth might not open fully or you may experience a bad taste in your mouth)
- Root Canal Treatment (RCT) to treat pain
- Severe, throbbing pain in your jaw
- Infection of the face with intra-oral or extra-oral swelling
- Trauma to the teeth or jaw
- Denture adjustment on radiation/oncology patients
- Denture adjustments or repairs when you can’t chew
- Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation.
- Pericoronitis or third-molar pain. (gum inflammation around wisdom teeth
- Dry Socket/ post-extraction pain and inflammation
- Abscess or localized bacterial infection resulting in localized pain and swelling.
- Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft tissue trauma.
- Dental trauma with loose teeth/ tooth loss.
- Dental restoration/ crown cementation if the temporary crown is lost, broken or causing gingival irritation.
- Extensive caries or defective restorations causing pain
- Suture removal
- Denture adjustments on radiation/oncology patients
- Denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded
- Replacing temporary filling on RCT access openings in patients experiencing pain
- Snipping or adjustments of an orthodontic wire.
- Appliances piercing or ulcerating oral mucosa.
Is Oral hygiene necessary to fight Coronavirus?
The oral cavity is a potentially high risk for Coronavirus and the virus has a high infectious susceptibility to oral epithelial cells. Coronavirus infects cells below the voice box, in the airways and deep in the lungs, unlike flu viruses which start with your nose and throat. Other than via tiny particles inhaled in air, coronavirus reaches those cells via fluid in the nose or throat that sneaks past your voice box (this is called aspiration) and slides down your windpipe, or trachea. Keeping your mouth and throat clear of infectious pathogens throughout the day and before you sleep at night (when most aspiration usually occurs) is paramount right now.
What oral hygiene measures can I take to decrease my personal exposure to coronavirus?
Oral Hygiene Peroxyl – Brush and floss your teeth, swish and spit, and gargle twice with an antiseptic mouthwash. Since 2019-nCoV is vulnerable to oxidation, a mouth rinse containing oxidative agents such as 1% hydrogen peroxide or 0.2% povidone is recommended.
Tongue scraper – Tongue cleaning may play an important role, as it has been reported that ACE2 is the main host cell receptor of 2019-nCoV and plays a crucial role in entry of virus into the cell to cause final infection. As recent studies show there is a high expression of ACE2 receptors (highly enriched) in epithelial cells of the tongue.
Stop touching your face. The eyes, nose and mouth, all are entry portals for the new coronavirus and many other germs. Wash your hands and face well with soap and warm water, including — on a finger — a quarter-inch into each nostril. Then gently blow your nose. DON’T use those irrigating devices, like neti pots, that might force viruses further inside! Soap helps lift germs from the surface of the skin, but it’s the scrubbing that gets germs off hands. Hand sanitizer is a good alternative, but it must have at least 60 percent alcohol to be effective, according to the CDC.
Move away from people breathing in your face, avoid indoor close gatherings of people, and stand some feet away even when outside. And since you may well have been exposed anyhow, remove any coronavirus already around your nose and throat.
What precautions do dental offices take to prevent the spread of infection?
As a dental practice, working in close quarters with the patients over so many years, we have developed heightened measures for sterilization and disinfection. Infection control procedures are actions taken in health care settings to prevent the spread of disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommendations for dental office infection control. We care about your safety and work hard to prevent the spread of infection. Before you enter the examining room, all surfaces, such as the dental chair, dental light, drawer handles and counter tops, have been cleaned and disinfected. We cover equipment with protective covers, which are replaced after each patient.
Non-disposable items like the dental tools are cleaned and sterilized between patients. Disposable dental tools and needles are never reused. Infection control precautions also require all dental staff involved in patient care to use appropriate protective equipment such as gloves, masks, gowns and eyewear. After each patient, disposable gloves and masks are thrown away. Before seeing the next patient, everyone on the treatment team washes their hands and put on a new pair of gloves.
Can I schedule a call with the dentist?
During the present time, as Coronavirus numbers are growing everywhere, we are trying our best to help prevent the spread of infection. The ADA (American Dental Association) and many other state dental associations have recommended dentists to see patients who have an emergency or possible infections.
Other than tips on recommending social distancing to dental patients during this time, we have instituted a platform where dental patients can schedule a phone consultation with our dentists to explain their dental problem and we can recommend if their condition warrants them to come in for their dental problem or not.
If the dental emergency involves a potential infection, we can prescribe medicines to alleviate the patient’s dental pain.
If the problem cannot be managed by medicines alone, we can see you at our office, please call us at 541-378-6694 to set up an appointment.
ALANSON M. RANDOL, DDS
Roseburg, Oregon 97471
Mon 7:00am - 6:00pm
Tues 7:00am - 4:00pm
Wed 7:00am - 6:00pm
Thur 7:00am - 6:00pm
Fri 7:00am - 4:00pm
Sat 7:00am - 4:00pm