Canceling non-essential appointments in wake of coronavirus crisis

Experts say you may want to hold off on your next trip to the dentist

HOUSTON – You may want to hold off on your next trip to the dentist.

As health experts recommend canceling non-essential appointments, the American Dental Association advised all dentists to postpone elective procedures, including routine checkups.

Local dentist Terri Alani said she’s stopping business as usual starting Wednesday. Even though they’ve been cleaning between visits, screening patients with additional questions and sanitizing as usual, there will be no more routine checkups for the near future.

However, she said she will stay open for emergency procedures, something that could directly help with the coronavirus crisis.

“They don’t want to flood the ER with dental emergencies,” Alani explained. “Make sure you give us a call because we’d rather see you than you go to an emergency room.”

With the concern that coronavirus would send a surge of patients to the hospital and limit the number of beds available for patients, Alani said dental emergencies should be reserved for a dentist’s office and not a hospital.

Some examples of dental emergencies include infections, an abscess, a tooth that falls out, severe pain.