Utah dentist urges patients to avoid the ER for dental care

A dentist in Provo, Utah, is pleading with patients to visit dental practices for emergency care rather than go to an emergency room, according to local CBS affiliate KUTV.

Juan Chavez, DDS, works at Platinum Dental. He and other dentists in the state are remaining open, providing emergency services only in compliance with the governor's mandate to restrict dental services through April 25.

"If you are experiencing a dental emergency, severe pain or another urgent and essential oral healthcare need, please go to the dentist and not to an emergency care facility," he said in a statement. "We all need to work together to preserve the precious resources and capacity of our ERs and urgent healthcare facilities."

The American Dental Support Organizations estimates more than 1.65 million ER visits annually could be managed by dentists. Emergency dental care includes uncontrolled bleeding, swelling to facial bones, severe cavities, painful dentures and replacement of temporary fillings.

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