Don't Panic, we're here to help!
Injuries to the face, mouth and teeth are common among children. We are here to help you in the time of an emergency. Do not panic, stay calm and determine the extent of the injury. If your child has a facial/head injury assess whether or not you child’s injury caused loss consciousness even for a brief moment. If this is the case, your child should see a physician immediately. Worry about the mouth and teeth later. Stop any bleeding with a clean washcloth or gauze. If there is swelling place cold compression in the area. As you do this, check for broken teeth and/or missing teeth. If there are missing teeth, look for them.
If any permanent tooth is avulsed, clean the tooth by handling it with the crown and not the root. Gently rinse the tooth of dirt with cold water. Do not unnecessarily scrub the root. Then place the tooth back into the socket. If you are unable to place it in the socket place it in homogenized cold milk or cold water and immediately see the dentist. Time is the determining factor for saving the tooth. If more than 30minutes has elapsed since the tooth was dislodged the prognosis is guarded.
Primary teeth are not reimplanted. An x-ray is taken to make sure all portion of the tooth is out. Pain medications are prescribed and the area is allowed to heal. Then an impression is taken to fabricate a space maintainer to maintain the space for the permanent tooth to come in.
Broken or chipped baby teeth
If the fracture is superficial, it can be restored with cosmetic bonding. If the fracture extends to the pulp or nerve inside the tooth a baby root canal treatment or coronal pulpotomy is performed. This is a very simple procedure and not as extensive as a root canal treatment done on permanent teeth.
If the fracture is below the gum line the tooth is removed and a spacer is placed to prevent drifting of teeth into space and maintain space for the permanent tooth.
Gum boil or Abscess
This is caused by an infected tooth. The pulp or nerve inside the tooth is infected by decay. The abscess extends beyond the apex of the tooth into the surrounding bone, perforating the bone into the gum tissue causing a gum boil. The infected tooth cannot be saved. It has to be extracted to protect the permanent tooth bud from getting infected. The patient is first put on antibiotics and then the tooth is extracted.
If your child is having a toothache, clean the area around the tooth. Rinse the mouth with warm salt water and use dental floss to remove any trapped food between the teeth. DO NOT place aspirin on the gums or tooth. This will cause a burn to the gum tissues. If there is swelling, apply cold to the outside of the face. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain. Call the dentist.
Cold sore or Canker sore
Some patients get canker sores periodically. There is no definite cause for a cold sore. It could be due to stress, vitamin or zinc deficiency or it may have a viral origin. Cold sores usually last for 7 days. There is no definite treatment for cold sores. Treatment is aimed towards relieving the pain either with over the counter medication or prescription medication.
We try to accommodate all emergencies on the same day. Please call early in the morning. If it is after working hours, please call our answering service and the doctor on call will call you as soon as possible.
Please do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions. Your comfort is our priority!
True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you can't take care of yourself. We'll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.