The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has many of us readjusting to a new way of life in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus. On March 18, as part of the new guidelines put in place to encourage social distancing as well as free up equipment to care for patients in need, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the suspension of all elective surgeries, non-essential medical, surgical, and dental procedures during the outbreak.
The restriction has left many confused about what, exactly, is still considered essential on the dental spectrum. A cavity? A chipped tooth?Right off the bat, Matt Nejad, DDS, a celebrity dentist in Beverly Hills, says that the safest thing for everyone is to avoid seeing a doctor altogether. “Your goal should be to avoid needing to see a doctor and this includes your dentist,” he says. “Right now the medical community is trying to pool resources to care for those afflicted by COVID-19, as well as simply trying to keep people at home.”
That doesn’t mean all dental services are completely off the table, particularly if the situation is dire. Jon Marashi, DDS, and byte Chief Dental Officer says that there are a handful of dental services that are considered essential by the American Dental Association: uncontrollable bleeding, painful swelling around the mouth, and pain in your tooth or jawbone. Post-surgery treatment, including dressing change and stitch removal, also fits the bill. Dr. Marashi adds that a broken or knocked-out tooth is considered an …read more