SCF Dental Operations Concentrating on Emergency Dental Care
SCF Dental is operating out of an abundance of caution while abiding by the current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Dental Association, and the State of Alaska. We are balancing the need to provide necessary services while minimizing risks to customer-owners and dental employees.
SCF’s Dental Clinics are open for many dental services during the pandemic, including dental exams to evaluate your oral health, and advise you if you have any treatment that needs to be taken care of immediately. You should always seek dental care if you think you have an urgent or emergent dental need.
What are examples of urgent and emergent dental needs?
- Bleeding that won’t stop
- Severe pain
- Broken teeth
- Signs of infection
- Post-surgery care
- Dentures that are not working properly
- Braces wires that are poking you
Non-urgent and elective treatment may be delayed during the pandemic if you are not experiencing any discomfort. The risk of delaying treatment to a customer-owner is taken into consideration when making the recommendation to wait to schedule an appointment.
What are examples of non-urgent and elective treatments?
- Dental cleanings
- Small cavities that are not causing any discomfort
- Replacement of teeth that have been missing for a long time and are not impacting your ability to eat or causing discomfort
During this time, it is important that you maintain a good home-care routine and a healthy diet. Oral hygiene supplies are available for you at any of the dental clinics.
Tips for good oral health
- Brush two times a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily
- Use fluoride mouth rinse
- Eat healthy foods, limit sweets
- Drink water instead of sweetened drinks
If you have any questions or concerns about whether to visit the dentist during the pandemic, please call SCF’s Dental Clinic.
Chipped Tooth or Lost Filling
A sharp broken tooth can be smoothed with a nail ﬁle. You may notice food getting caught more often in or around the broken tooth and it may require extra brushing and ﬂossing until it can be taken care of by a dentist. If it is in between your teeth, then temporary ﬁlling material can be used to ﬁll in the gap. Most pharmacy stores carry temporary dental ﬁlling; follow the directions included with the product. Broken teeth are generally not painful unless the nerve is involved; let your dentist know if you are experiencing pain, swelling, or a pimple on your gums as the tooth may require more immediate treatment.
If you can feel that a crown is loose, try to gently remove it and then follow the directions below. You may be able to grab it with your ﬁngers and lift off, if that doesn’t work then ﬂossing can sometimes remove it. If you are unable to take the crown off, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and keep the area clean until a dentist can be consulted.
To re-glue the crown, individuals can purchase crown cement from a pharmacy store. If this is not an option, toothpaste or denture adhesive can also be used. Clean the underside of the crown and tooth. Place the crown over the tooth to make sure you know which direction it needs to be to ﬁt in place. Gently bite your teeth together to make sure that your bite feels normal. Place a small amount of adhesive on the underside of the crown, place it on the correct tooth and wait a few minutes for the material to set. Adhesive purchased at most pharmacy stores, will have detailed directions included that should be followed.
Cracked or Broken Denture
Denture chip / irritating area – If a small part of the denture has broken off and causing irritation to the mouth, a nail ﬁle or sandpaper can be used to smooth the sharp edges.
Denture breaks in half – Please do not attempt to repair at home since the pieces could improperly align and not be usable. Denture adhesive tape, which can be used to temporarily bind the two halves together, can be purchased at most pharmacy stores.
Denture Tooth Broken Off
Emergency denture repair kits are available at many pharmacies. Follow directions to ﬁx a tooth or small break.
Remove any food or debris that may get stuck in the cavity. Keep area clean with good oral hygiene, brush two times per day, and ﬂoss once per day.
Sore Gums or Bleeding Gums while Brushing Teeth
Continue to brush and ﬂoss the area gently. Use warm saltwater rinses twice per day. Areas of trauma and irritation in the mouth typically heal in 7-10 days. If the area looks like a pimple on your gums or if it has not resolved in 7-10 days, call your dentist.
Southcentral Foundation Dental Clinic
4441 Diplomacy Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508