Dental Emergencies for Existing Patients
As a parent, there are few things more terrifying than when your child is injured and in pain. Dental emergencies, although frightening, are common. Dental injuries range in severity. The severity of their injury will dictate what steps you should take next. At Puyallup Pediatric Dentistry, we are here to help your child, and you, in the event of a dental emergency, and can help to advise you on the best course of action.
Care at Home
Some mild dental trauma may not require you to take your child anywhere. If your child has bitten their lip, tongue or cheek, this type of injury can often be managed at home. If your child is bleeding, apply gauze to help stop it. A pain reliever or ice pack can help with any pain. These injuries usually heal within a few days. However, if bleeding is severe, and does not stop after 15 minutes, then you should head to the ER.
Toothaches can arise from some different causes—stuck food, trauma, tooth eruptions or even infections. If your child complains of a toothache, clean the area thoroughly. Use floss to dislodge food stuck between the teeth, and have your child rinse with warm water. Check their gums for signs of swelling, which can indicate an infection. If you suspect an infection, call our office right away.
Emergency Care in Our Office
In the event of a dental emergency, it may be instinct to rush to the ER. However, many dental emergencies can be handled in our office:
||Knocked out (avulsed) teeth. If one of their teeth has been knocked out, especially a permanent one, it is important that you come in. It is also important to know that we may be able to replant their tooth. If you are able to find the tooth, be careful not to touch the root. Store the tooth in milk until you are able to get your child to the office.
||Displaced teeth. In some cases, a tooth may be knocked partially out, or it may have been pushed into the socket. Avoid attempting to fix the tooth yourself. If your child is in pain, offer a pain reliever or ice pack. We will be able to place the tooth back in its proper place and split it if necessary.
||A chipped or fractured tooth. Have your child rinse their mouth with warm water, and give them an ice pack or pain reliever to help minimize swelling. If you are able to find the chip, place it in milk until we are able to see your child. We will be able to evaluate the situation and provide your child with the appropriate treatment.
Emergency Care at the Emergency Room
In some cases, it is in your child’s best interest to head straight to the emergency room. Call 911 or head to the ER if your child loses consciousness or is having difficulty breathing. If your child is experiencing severe bleeding, take them to the ER right away. If you are waiting for an ambulance, apply gauze to the area. When the gauze becomes saturated, add a new, clean layer. Do not remove the current gauze.
You should also head to the ER if your child has a possible broken jaw. A broken jaw can affect the way their mouth develops and can cause tooth displacement and loose teeth. Symptoms to watch for include severe pain, swelling, and numbness of the area.
If your child has suffered a dental emergency, we are here to help. Contact Puyallup Pediatric Dentistry right away at (253) 864-9889!