Open for Dental Emergencies
Frequently Asked Questions
You probably have a lot of questions about COVID-19 and the risk it poses if you see us in the clinic. Below are the most commonly asked questions put together and answered by the Australian Dental Association. Dr Garret Robles is an active member of the Australian Dental Association.
Is it safe to visit the dentist?
Yes, if you fit the criteria for emergency treatment it is safe to go to the dentist. Australian dental practitioners have the highest infection control standards in the world.
Can I see my dentist in an emergency?
Yes, you can see a dentist if you have a genuine dental emergency such as knocking out a tooth, severe and constant pain, significant bleeding, or swelling of the head or neck. If you’re not sure whether you have a dental emergency it’s best to call your dentist or you can find a dental practice that is open here.
Please be understanding if your situation is not deemed an emergency and your treatment is deferred, as this is a decision that has been made to ensure the safety of the broader community.
What is a dental emergency?
Emergency presentations include tooth loss, dental trauma following an accident, acute pain, swelling of the face, neck or mouth, difficulties with opening the jaw or with swallowing or breathing, tooth fracture causing pulp exposure, soft tissue damage, significant post-oral surgery bleeding, persistent ulcers, wire or bracket fractures in orthodontic patients, and any problems that could cause long-term issues without immediate treatment.
How can I find a dentist that will see me?
The Australian Dental Association has a list of dental practices that are safely treating patients for emergency dental treatment only. Our medical centre based surgeries at Aitkenvale Family Health Centre, Bushland Beach Medical Centre and TAIHS are open for dental emergencies and on Level 3 Restriction of the ADA Guideline for COVID-19.
What should I expect if I do see my dentist?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, additional steps are being made to stop the spread of the virus. You might see an empty waiting room and be asked to wash your hands or use hand sanitiser as you enter the practice. Your dentist will ask you to do a mouthwash prior to treatment and will likely use a ‘rubber dam’ to perform any emergency treatment. All of these measures are designed to minimise any risk to you and to the practice team.
Can I be treated for a dental emergency if I have COVID-19?
If you need urgent dental care and think you may have COVID-19, it’s important to call your dentist or find a dentist near you and discuss your situation.
If you have a dental emergency and have been diagnosed with COVID-19, dental treatment is available as an in-patient or within a hospital setting by appropriately trained and credentialled dental personnel.
What should I do if I'm halfway through my treatment?
If your treatment has already begun and you are schedueld to have it finshed, you should contact your dentist to discuss whether it's safe to defer the treatment. If your treatment cannot be deferred, your dentist will complete the work taking extra precautions or refer you to someone who is able to complete it.
If you are unable to contact your usual dentist, use the ADA's Find a Dentist search to locate a dental practice that is open to discuss your situation.
When will dental practices open again?
It's impossible to say when things will return to normal and you will be able to visit your dentist for your usual check-up. Once your usual dental practice opens and is able to treat you, they should be in contact to schedule an appointment.
Source: Australian Dental Association