Dental patients are crowding ERs, providers say

Healthcare workers say emergency rooms are seeing increasing numbers of patients requiring emergency dental work as dental offices across the U.S. have canceled regular appointments amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both CMS and the American Dental Association have urged dental clinics to postpone non-emergent care in efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and limit supply use during a shortage.

The Northeastern District Dental Society of Minnesota is reminding patients experiencing a dental emergency to contact a local dentist instead of a hospital, according to Pine Journal.

People with dental emergencies, which can be life-threatening at times, should call the dental office before showing up, Nathan Halstead, DDS, president of the Northeastern District Dental Society, told Pine Journal.

"We want to help our medical colleagues out by making sure we are not having patients show up to the emergency room with dental problems while they're dealing with the COVID-19 crisis," Dr. Halstead said.

Richland, Wash.-based Lifetime Dental Care created an emergency response team to see patients with dental emergencies during the outbreak, Michael Breier, DMD, told KEPR-TV. The dental team is helping ease the burden on hospitals and emergency rooms, Dr. Breier said.

More articles on dental:
Western Dental closes majority of offices amid COVID-19 outbreak
North Carolina dentist loses license for incompetent care of 19 patients
Dentists sign petition to work in hospitals during COVID-19 outbreak

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