If your teeth are hurting and you are not sure if you can get in to see a dentist now because of the Coronavirus pandemic, there is good news.

Dentists in North Central Phoenix are seeing patients for emergencies that could cause serious problems if they are not addressed quickly. They are taking extra precautions, on top of the usual steps they follow, to ensure you will be safe during the procedures. And they add it is better to go to a dentist than visit an emergency room or urgent care center for dental problems because dentists will be better able to correct the problem and you will not be at risk of being exposed to sick people.

CenterCare Dental Group at 340 E. Palm Lane may perform root canals, address broken dentures and help if a tooth or crown has fallen out, among other potential emergencies during the COVID-19, said Dr. Gary Steen, dentist there. Cleanings and basic fillings, as well as other treatments that are not urgent, can wait.

“Some people, for example, may not be eating well,” Steen said. “That’s one way to keep an immune system healthy.  If there’s a dentist available, there’s no point in waiting in line, waiting for hours (at an emergency room).”

CenterCare Dental Group is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays during the quarantine in Arizona.

Steen said he and his employees, as well as patients, wear masks and are fully covered in gowns and foot covers during the dental work. The patient wears a mask open in the mouth but covering their nose and a throat pack is used to allow them to breathe. Steen asks that people do not bring friends with them to the appointment.

Camelback Smiles Dentistry at 742 E. Glendale Ave. also is treating patients for emergencies during the Coronavirus crisis.

General dentist and owner of Camelback Smiles Dentistry Dr. Lindsay Felien said dental issues can be life-threatening.

“In a situation where you have a true dental emergency…pain, swelling, a broken tooth, it could put you at risk for more serious complications,” Felien said. “Our main goal as dental providers is to keep those treatments where we can. Emergency rooms are overloaded already.”

Cleanings and routine visits at Camelback Smiles Dentistry are on hold for now.

Dentists already follow guidelines from the American Dental Association and Arizona Dental Association in the state so they already are used to ensuring “infection control” including sterilization and cleaning, Felien said. Now Felien and the staff members at Camelback Smiles also are wearing a different type of mask during the pandemic.

A national dental support organization, Pacific Dental Services recently launched TeleDentistry, an initiative that allows dentists to increase access to care for patients around the country. It is available for anyone with a smart phone, tablet or computer, to be screened by a clinician from their homes.  To learn more and find a dental office in North Central Phoenix, visit pacificdentalservices.com.

To contact CenterCare Dental Group call 602-252-2800 or visit centercare.net. For appointments and information from Camelback Smiles Dentistry, call 602-491-0887 or visit camelbacksmilesdentistry.com.




  • Colleen Sparks

    A 25-year industry veteran, she's written for a variety of outlets including The Arizona Republic, East Valley Tribune, Money Talks News, and North Central News.