Frequently Asked Questions During Current COVID-19 Response Period

I have an appointment-- what can I do to prepare for a safe and efficient experience?

We are continually focused on the health and wellbeing of our team and our patients. The next time you visit us, you will notice many changes, all of which are designed to treat dental pathology in a compassionate and healthy environment.

  • If you have a fever or feel sick, please call us. We will help you reschedule your appointment.
  • Please wear a face covering to your appointment.
  • When you arrive, please check in and we will let you know when your appointment is ready. If necessary, waiting for your appointment in your vehicle may prove to be most convenient.
  • Please be sure to bring your cell phone so that we may communicate with you while you are in your car
  • Please leave family members at home to limit the number of people in the practice. (Exceptions will be made for younger patients who need guardians/caretakers with them.)
  • Please brush thoroughly PRIOR to your appointment. During your office visit, we may ask you to rinse with an antimicrobial mouth rinse, and we are going to limit the amount of tooth brushing stations that can be used throughout the office.
  • Tell your friends and family about your visit. We will provide the same healthy environment for them to have any necessary treatment completed.
How is HDA protecting patients during their appointments?

We are continually focused on the health and well being of our team and our patients. The next time you visit us, you will notice many changes, all of which are designed to treat dental pathology in a compassionate and healthy environment.

  • A new screening questionnaire will be asked of each patient both during phone call confirmations as well as prior to their appointment.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the office at multiple locations for your use before and after appointments.
  • Additional time has been scheduled between appointments for thorough cleaning of treatment spaces.
  • Each team member will be adhering to strict Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) protocols which will include facemasks, surgical gowns, and KN95 masks for those required procedures.
  • The chairs, tables in the reception area as well as door handles throughout the entire office are being wiped down throughout each hour of the day.
  • We will have the ability to take each patient’s and each team member’s temperature using a touchless thermometer.
  • While rescheduling our patients, special appointment times may be arranged for our most vulnerable patients.
  • We do not want the financial burden of these unprecedented times to be a barrier to achieving the care you desire. More flexible Financial Arrangements are being granted throughout the offices to help ensure affordable care.

 

How are appointments being confirmed?

We are currently completing an appointment confirmation by phone call only. ​A staff member will reach out ​ to confirm each appointment and ask several important pre-visit questions surrounding basic patient information and health. We hope to be able to reinstate our text and email confirmation system as soon as possible.

Are specialty services being offered?

We are currently scheduling patients for all specialty services. Please call our office for more information or to schedule your appointment.

What defines a dental emergency?

The following symptoms will generally qualify as a dental emergency:

  • Your tooth has been knocked out or has fallen out
  • Your tooth is loose and in danger of falling out
  • You are experiencing persistent bleeding from your gums or from a tooth
  • Your tooth is cracked or chipped with severe pain
  • Home remedies cannot control the pain or solve the problem (keeps you up at night)
  • Facial trauma
  • Pericoronitis or gum pain from unerupted back molars
  • Uncontrollable third molar or wisdom tooth pain
  • Facial swelling, intra-oral swelling or severe inflammation related to trauma, persistent tooth pain, or previous tooth pain

If any of these match your symptoms, please call our offices immediately. Treatment for the above may include a prescription for antibiotics over the phone or the need for an office visit.  For all other minor issues, such as minor toothaches, we encourage you to use home remedies whenever possible.

What do I do if one of my teeth has been knocked out?

Assuming you can recover the missing tooth, take immediate action to save it until we can get you into the office. If possible, the best course of action is to place the tooth back into its socket. If the tooth is heavily dirtied, you can lightly remove any debris, but try not to wash it thoroughly with any liquids. Replacing the tooth may be possible immediately after a trauma event, but not shortly thereafter due to the formation of a blood clot or other traumatized oral structures getting in the way. If the tooth cannot be replaced into the socket, saving the tooth in a preservative is the next best option. Pasteurized milk or coconut water are fine tooth preservatives, however, pre-made tooth-saving solutions found at your local pharmacy are much more optimal. We recommend buying some to keep in a dental emergency kit at home for such rare occurrences. Do not rinse the tooth before placing it in your preservative.

How can I take care of a broken tooth?

If your tooth breaks beneath your gums, you should contact Hamilton Dental Associates immediately. Removal of the tooth or the tooth’s root may be necessary. For any other cracks or chips that may occur, we recommend taking acetaminophen to keep the pain under control until you can be seen. Rinsing your mouth with warm water may also help with the pain.

What can I do to address pain and swelling of the tooth and/or gums?

If you are experiencing a toothache or gum pain, we recommend that you use either a cold compress on the affected area or take acetaminophen to numb the pain temporarily. We also advise you to avoid any foods that are particularly hot or cold and to stay away from sweets that can increase your pain levels. Gargling salt water can help with instances of swollen gums. If swelling is present, it may be the sign that the active decay of a tooth (cavity) has spread to the underlying tissues. This requires immediate attention through either an antibiotic prescription, emergency tooth pulp removal or tooth extraction. Calling our office and discussing the symptoms with a doctor or qualified staff member is necessary to determine the correct path forward.