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What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

The ADA recognizes that state governments and state dental associates may be best positioned to recommend to the dentist in their regions the amount of time to keep their offices closed to all but emergency care. This is fluid situation and those closet to the issue may best understand the local challenges being faced.


This Guidance may change as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses. Dentist should use their professional judgement in determining a patient's need for urgent or emergency care.

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

  • Uncontrolled bleeding

  • Cellulitis or diffuse soft tissue bacterial infection with intra-oral or extra-oral swelling that potentially compromise the patients's airway

  • Trauma involving facial bones, potentially compromising the patient's airway

  • For the latest updates, visit ADA.ORG/VIRUS

#ADA #Nationaldentalcouncil #Dentalemergency #NYU #whatconstitutesdentalemergency

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