Emergency Dentistry For Kids

If your child is experiencing a dental emergency, contact us right away. We prioritize dental emergencies and will make our best efforts to see your child as soon as possible. At an emergency dental appointment, we prioritize relieving pain, stopping uncontrollable bleeding, and stopping the issue from becoming worse. 

Depending on the problem, your child may need to return for future appointments if restorations are needed or a pulpotomy. We can treat infected teeth, restore broken or missing dental work, and place space maintainers where your child has missing teeth. 

For dental emergencies requiring immediate treatment, contact us at ToothTown Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tom or Dr. Lulu.

What Is Considered An Emergency

Tooth Pain – Believe it or not something as simple and seemingly minor as a toothache can be a dental emergency, especially if the pain is severe. This is because healthy teeth do not cause pain and a toothache is a sign of a larger problem. 

Your child could have tooth decay or an injury. Until you can get your child to the dentist, have them rinse their mouth with a lukewarm saline solution to remove bacteria and reduce swelling and pain. 

If pain is significant, they can take the recommended child-friendly dose of anti-inflammatory pain medication. Apply a cold compress to the area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Try flossing your child’s teeth to remove food particles that could be causing the pain.

Knocked-Out Tooth – A knocked-out tooth requires a very specific protocol so that you have the best chance of salvaging your child’s tooth. This issue is time sensitive so the sooner you get to the dentist, the greater chance you have of successfully reattaching the tooth. 

Locate the tooth and only hold it from the crown. If it’s dirty, rinse it off and try to reattach it by placing it back into the socket. If you’re unable to do so, store it in a container of milk (not water) and bring it with you to your emergency appointment. Knocked-out teeth only have about a one-hour window before they can no longer be reattached.

Broken Tooth – Rinse your mouth with water to remove any leftover fragments in your mouth and examine your tooth to look for sharp edges that could cut your mouth. If there are any sharp edges, you should get to the dentist right away. Apply ice to the area. Pharmacies sell temporary dental fillings that may temporarily protect your mouth from sharp edges.

Signs of Infection – Signs that your child’s tooth is infected include swelling around the tooth, face, and neck, the presence of a pimple around the gums of the affected tooth, tooth pain, and tooth discoloration. 

Use a cold compress and elevate their head to reduce swelling. Take anti-inflammatory pain medication to relieve pain. It’s important to get them to the dentist right away as an infection can spread to other teeth or through the bloodstream.

Tips To Avoid Emergencies

The best way to avoid dental emergencies is to ensure that your child practices good oral hygiene and reduces their risk of injury by wearing a mouthguard when playing contact sports or if they grind their teeth. 

By brushing their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes and flossing once a day, they greatly reduce their risk of tooth decay and gum disease. This reduces their risk of needing treatment for tooth pain or infection. 

Protecting their teeth with a mouthguard reduces their risk of dental trauma, bleeding, broken and knocked-out teeth. It’s also important to take them to regular dental visits for dental cleanings and checkups every 6 months. Early detection and prevention are key to minimizing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Oral Conscious Sedation

In young kids, a liquid sedative is used to deliver oral conscious sedation. Pills are preferred for older kids who can swallow them. These sedatives will make your child feel very tired and sleepy. They may even fall asleep and/or forget what happens during their dental procedure. 

However, they will not be unconscious. They can breathe on their own, be woken up, and respond to commands when necessary. This makes oral conscious sedation a good choice for kids who need a deeper method of sedation than nitrous oxide.

Should I Take My Child To The Hospital?

Unless your child is experiencing a life-threatening emergency such as serious injuries that are affecting their ability to breathe or swallow, have caused a dislocated or fractured jaw, or cuts to the face, then they should go to the dentist. 

However, for all other dental emergencies, the dentist is the best place to go. The hospital rarely has a dentist or oral surgeon on call and will likely tell you that they cannot treat a problem that isn’t life-threatening.