Help is at hand for the thousands of NSW and ACT patients who will need emergency dental care during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Australian Dental Association New South Wales’s (ADA NSW) new Dental Emergency Directory, available via www.adansw.com.au, allows patients to find their nearest dentist offering emergency treatment.
“Recommended restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak mean many dentists are having to limit opening times or even temporarily close their doors,” ADA NSW President Dr Kathleen Matthews said. “The Dental Emergency Directory can help ensure thousands of NSW and ACT residents can find a local dentist—and get the urgent treatment they need.”
More than 1,350 dentists across NSW and the ACT are currently listed on the Dental Emergency Directory (as of April 2). It is simple to search for the nearest dentist to you.
“If you only need routine treatment such as a check-up, the Australian Dental Association recommends that this type of treatment is deferred. Routine dental treatment can be safely delayed,” Dr Matthews said. “If you need more urgent treatment—for example, if you develop an abscess, you have a toothache or your child damages a tooth while playing—your first step should be to call your regular family dentist. If you don’t have a dentist, you can use the online Dental Emergency Directory to find your nearest dentist.”
Dr Matthews said the Dental Emergency Directory would also help reduce the burden on the Australian public hospital system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is important that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that dentistry is able to be delivered in private and public clinics in our communities to ensure we help to reduce the burden on the wider health system. Without dentists, patients needing urgent treatment for painful or traumatic dental conditions would have no choice but to attend their local hospitals or GP offices,” she said.
“This is an incredibly challenging time for healthcare professionals, including dentists. ADA NSW understands this, and this is how we can help. I thank my colleagues for stepping up to register.
“It is safe to visit the dentist but to reduce the risk, we are recommending only patients who need urgent or emergency care visit the dentist at this time.
“We are calling on all dentists, whether Australian Dental Association members or not, to sign up and ensure patients keep receiving the dental treatment they need at this time.”
Dr Matthews said patients could also help by ensuring good oral health habits for themselves and their loved ones. “Even during this challenging time, please remember to look after your teeth by brushing at least twice a day with toothpaste, flossing, drinking tap water and avoiding sugary drinks and treats,” Dr Matthews said.
To access the Dental Emergency Directory, visit www.adansw.com.au