Emergency dental clinics set up in Charlottetown area
Clinics will be mainly for extractions, says Dental Council of P.E.I.
Two emergency dental clinics have been set up in the Charlottetown area for patients who need a tooth pulled and have no other treatment options.
Dr. Maurice Coady, registrar for the Dental Council of P.E.I., said patients should first contact their own dentist by phone, who will do a risk assessment for COVID-19, as well as determine if the emergency can be solved pharmacologically or through conversation.
"If this is successful then we want them to refer to these centralized clinics for emergency care," he said.
"They will only be doing non-aerosol-type-producing treatments. And basically that would be extractions." An aerosol is a fine, airborne mist generated by certain procedures.
The clinics are set up in the offices of Dr. Greg Mitton and Dr. Darcy MacLellan.
Ease strain on hospitals
With dental offices across the Island closed to regular patients since March 17, Coady said the new clinics will help ease the load on the hospital emergency departments.
"If it's a very serious emergency and that is one that is causing bleeding, acute pain, swelling or infection or trauma they can get some emergency care at these clinics and not be hospitalized," he said.
If the person is high risk for COVID-19, or an aerosol will be produced through the necessary procedure, they will have to be seen at a hospital, he said.
COVID-19: What you need to know
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Common symptoms include:
But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.
Health Canada has built a self-assessment tool.
What should I do if I feel sick?
Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.
How can I protect myself?
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.
- Practise physical distancing.
More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.
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With files from Brian Higgins