Pathway Dental Group is committed to keeping dental emergencies out of the emergency rooms to preserve maximum capacity for COVID-19 and other emergencies. While dental checkups and cleanings might be unavailable at the moment, if you’re facing a dental emergency in Santa Barbara or Lompoc, we are here to help.
But what qualifies as a dental emergency? Is your dental concern a routine treatment or is it considered an urgent need? We explain the guidelines below and are happy to answer any questions at (805) 884-1874.
Go to your dentist for urgent dental needs — not the ER
If you’re facing a dental emergency, contacting your dentist rather than going to the ER could help save lives.
Consider the facts:
- Every 14 seconds someone visits a hospital emergency room for dental conditions
- A dental emergency is the #2 reason adult (ages 20-39) visit the emergency room
- Dental disorders rank among the top 3 avoidable emergency visits
Especially during our current crisis, oral care problems can place an unnecessary strain on emergency rooms. You can help preserve the precious capacity at hospital ERs and urgent care centers by contacting your dentist instead.
Additionally, most emergency departments are not equipped to provide definite dental care. An estimated 1.65 million dental ER visits can be diverted to out of hospital settings every year.
If you’re facing a dental emergency, your dentist can help you. Avoid the emergency room when possible — for your safety and the safety of others.
What is a dental emergency?
Dental emergency situations require immediate treatment to avoid serious consequences.
With a dental emergency, it’s best to contact a dentist right away. Things will get worse without immediate treatment.
Contact Ericson Dental if you experience any of the following:
- Severe mouth pain
- Broken or chipped tooth
- Loose or lost tooth
- Lost filling or crown
The most common symptom of a dental emergency is pain. If you are in pain, call us — we want to help.
Other specific situations that we consider an urgent dental need include:
- Removing sutures from a previous visit
- Adjusting orthodontics that are causing pain or bleeding
- Fixing or adjusting dentures — particularly for patients undergoing cancer treatment
- Providing dental care that’s needed before an essential medical procedure
- Changing dressings to prevent dry socket
What is not a dental emergency?
At the recommendation of the California Dental Association, our office is currently closed to those seeking:
- Routine exams, checkups, and cleanings
- Orthodontic care (unless it’s causing you pain or infection)
- Fillings for small cavities that aren’t causing pain
- Cosmetic procedures
Although not considered an emergent need, if you need any of the services/treatments listed above, please feel free to contact us. We expect mandates to be lifted on June 1 and are scheduling appointments for after this date.
Ericson Dental is committed to patient safety
At our Santa Barbara and Lompoc offices, your safety has always been and will continue to be our top priority.
We exceed all CDC and OSHA guidelines. If you need to visit us during this time for a dental emergency, enjoy peace of mind knowing that our medical-grade sterilization protocols will keep you safe.
If you’re facing an emergency, contact us at any time. We offer online appointment booking for Lompoc and Santa Barbara so if something happens during the night, you don’t have to wait until morning to reserve your appointment.
Meanwhile: Don’t neglect your oral health!
We’re all adjusting to new routines, staying home, and social distancing — but just because the world is slowing down doesn’t mean you should put your dental health on hold. Now more than ever, healthy habits of all kinds are important.
Given that regular dental checkups aren’t possible right now, it’s especially important to maintain your daily preventative dental health routine:
- Brush your teeth two times a day for two minutes
- Floss every day
- Avoid sharing your toothbrush with anyone
- Drink lots of water
- Avoid too much alcohol or sugary snacks
- If you’re fighting off a cough, choose sugar-free cough drops
Questions? Please let us know
Our entire team misses seeing you in our office and can’t wait to welcome everyone back again soon. Keep in touch with us on Facebook and let us know how you’re doing! If you have questions about your dental health, please let us know. We’re in this together and are ready to help.