More than 75% of dental practices in Washington have closed as a result of the state’s coronavirus response, according to a recent survey. So, where can patients go when they have a toothache?
Smiles Dental and its sister company, Optima Dental Spa are among few dental practices in 9 Washington cities that have remained open for emergent and urgent dental appointments while COVID-19 restrictions are in place, according to a survey by Dental Intelligence, a dental practice analytics provider for dentists to make data-driven decisions that help patients receive better care. Appointments for dental emergencies in Bellevue, Camas, Sedro-Woolley, Gig Harbor, Lacey, Ridgefield, Hazel Dell, Longview, and Vancouver during the COVID-19 crisis are available online or by calling 888-552-6957.
“We are one of the only dental providers open in some of these communities, said Dr. Raymond Frye, CEO and Founder of Smiles Dental and Optima Dental Spa. “We’ve kept 175 patients out of hospital emergency rooms since the COVID-19 restrictions were announced in March, and over 40% of these were new patients to us. These patients might have had no other way to get a dental appointment when they needed it, and they have been very grateful that we have been there to help.”
The state of Washington restricted dental offices from doing non-essential or elective procedures until May 18 due to COVID-19, but emergency exams and time sensitive treatment is allowed. The US Department of Homeland Security lists dental offices as an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a means of mitigating negative impacts on hospitals and health services. “We expect to be able to keep up to 1,000 patients across these 9 cities out of hospital emergency rooms in April.” Frye said.
Emergency dental services are available by appointment only, and the cost of emergency exams has been lowered to $49 during COVID-19 restrictions to make diagnosis more accessible even for those without insurance and those suffering from income loss.
“Toothaches happen, even during a shelter in place,” said Frye, “We are here to help, even if we are not your regular dentist.”
Here is a list of practices open for dental emergencies in Washington:
- Bellevue: Optima Dental Spa Bellevue
- Gig Harbor: Optima Dental Spa Gig Harbor
- Lacey: Smiles Dental Lacey
- Snohomish: Smiles Dental Snohomish
- Sedro-Woolley: Smiles Dental Sedro-Woolley
- Camas: Smiles Dental Camas
- Hazel Dell: Smiles Dental Hazel Dell
- Vancouver: Smiles Dental Vancouver
- Longview: Smiles Dental Longview