Q: How can we be prepared for dental emergencies at home? Our dental office is closed and my husband and I are in the middle of a lot of work. We both have temporary crowns and who knows how long it will be before we can get in for the permanent work?
A: To keep my mind from going absolutely bonkers, I try to get up on the weekdays as if it is a normal workday. I even get dressed in scrubs, head into the office and write, clean, nap and watch continuing education videos on cosmetic, implant and general dentistry and then exercise out in the sun with calisthenics and a pull-up/chin-up bar. (Then repeat.) Well, at least I will look like George Hamilton after dong some time behind bars.
I actually have been called in to the office for a few emergencies, but most folks are staying home as much as possible. I still have one of our staff member answering the phone, so people can have a real person to speak to, during regular office hours; business as usual. (I said “real person”, but that could just mean a pulse is detected.)
Try to utilize what I call Teledentistry, which is not even a word yet, but maybe it will be now! From now until May 8th, unless things change with the shutdown schedule, I will accept teledentistry consults at no charge.
Send a photo of a tooth using your smart phone; take one photo in the regular setting and one in “macro” if you have it. Or buy online or at a tool store a “smartphone endoscope, smartphone dental camera”, or a “borescope”. These wand or snake-shaped LED cameras will send a great image simultaneously to your phone. You can then email me the image and describe your symptoms.
Some painful emergencies can be handled at home:
The above sample of dental issues can be remedies with products you might already have at home, or can easily be purchased at your local supermarket; I promise nothing involves toilet paper or peanut butter!
Send your teledentistry issues to my email below.