Dental Emergency During Quarantine?

Dental Emergency During Quarantine?

Featuring Dr. Kathleen Mullaney, DDS

The Commonwealth of Virginia allowed dental offices to reopen on May 5th. However, should there be a resurgence of Covid 19 infections later in the year and a quarantine is again imposed, these lessons learned will better prepare you to deal with your dental needs.

What should I do if I have a dental emergency during a quarantine? This is a question I received often from patients, friends and family. It is a question that you have most likely seen floating around on social media. We have been very proactive in our dental practice to reach out to each of our patients with some answers to the most common dental emergencies.

First and foremost, it is important to understand what the symptoms are of a 'true' dental emergency. These will generally present with pain, swelling, bleeding in the oral tissues and some signs of infection. If any of these occur, please call your dentist immediately. It is important not to delay if an infection is present, as this could easily turn into a bigger problem.

We are also available to FaceTime with our patients and utilize 'telemedicine' to discuss treatment options. Phone calls, FaceTime and 'telemedicine' all allow dental professionals to discuss concerns with their patients. Typically, I can treat the patient with antibiotics right away and refer them to the necessary specialist should the need for a root canal or tooth removal be required.

Dr. Kathleen Mullaney

Our goal is to keep our patients out of the emergency rooms for dental issues during a quarantine situation.

Here are other popular questions, regarding your dental health that you may be needing answers to.

Q: What do I do if my temporary crown comes off?

A: Call your dentist and let them know. There are some pretty good 'temporary cements' that you can get at the drug stores to hold you over for a while. Clean out the inside of your temporary with some hydrogen peroxide and dry it with a Q-tip. Place the temporary cement inside the crown and put it back in your mouth and bite down for 5 minutes. Try to clean out the extra cement and let your dentist know what product you have used.

Q: What do I do if I chip or break a tooth?

A: Call your dentist to let them know. If there is no sensitivity to hot or cold, you should try to avoid chewing in that area of your mouth. Once your dental office is opened again, go in for an evaluation.

Q: How can I keep my teeth healthy since I am overdue for my cleaning?

A: Try to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Some of the over the counter mouth rinses that have fluoride in them can be good to use in the interim until you can get a professional cleaning and fluoride application. Many of our patients find the 'Water Pik' quite helpful to use once or twice a day to keep their mouths cleaner. You can get this in a drug store or online.

Q: What do I do if I have a sore in my mouth or gums?

A: Again, call your dentist to let them know. We do not want to ignore this if it is an infection. Often, for a minor sore caused by 'trauma', you could try rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and peroxide mouth rinse. Again, this should clear up in a few days or you should reach back out to your dentist for a 'telemedicine' visit.


For Dr. Kathleen Mullaney, being a dentist embodies what she’s all about: her passion for service, for improving every patient’s smile, for caring for her family and for giving back to the community. Visit her online at


As seen in the May 2020 Issue of VIP Alexandria Magazine

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