Are Dentist Offices Essential Businesses in Colorado?

April 13, 2020

COVID-19On March 19, Governor Polis issued an executive order to limit all treatment to emergency care to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and conserve PPE.

Our office is taking extra precautions during this time, and we are still here for your dental emergencies and answering any questions you may have.

Dentists are considered essential; however, dentists in Colorado must only provide emergency services and urgent procedures at this time. Not all dental services are considered essential at this time.

Is a Dental Office a Critical Business?

Yes, dental offices are considered a critical, or life-sustaining, business. Critical businesses must comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and any applicable local health department. Critical businesses must comply with social distancing requirements.

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

In following guidelines set by the American Dental Association and the Colorado Dental Association, we can treat dental emergencies and provide urgent dental care.

Dental emergencies are potentially life threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding or alleviate severe pain or infection.  This may include:

  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Cellulitis or a diffuse soft tissue bacterial infection with intra-oral or extra-oral swelling that potentially compromise the patient’s airway
  • Trauma involving facial bones, potentially compromising the patient’s airway

Essential urgent procedures focus on the management of conditions that require immediate attention to relieve severe pain and/or risk of infection and to alleviate the burden on hospital emergency departments. These may include:

  • Severe dental pain
  • Dry socket after an extraction
  • Tooth fracture
  • Tooth avulsion/luxation from trauma
  • Final crown delivery if the temporary is broken or lost
  • Dental treatment required prior to critical medical procedures
  • Any other emergent/urgent issue that “corrects a serious medical condition” and allows the patient to forego a trip to the hospital emergency room or urgent care facility

See the complete list of emergencies from the ADA.

Do You Need to See a Dentist?

If you are experiencing pain, we recommend you call our office right away. We can determine whether you should come into the office to see a dentist. If our hours are limited, we can also refer you to another convenient office. It’s important not to wait if you are experiencing pain, or you could end up with a much bigger, more painful, more costly problem.

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