Handling Pediatric Dental Emergencies: Professional Insights

Pediatric Dental Emergencies Richmond, TX

Pediatric dental emergencies can be frightening for children, who may be experiencing pain, discomfort, or bleeding. Emergency professionals recommend that caregivers have a plan in place before an accident occurs to minimize the amount of time spent finding an emergency dentist and learning what to do about the situation. However, not everyone has the luxury of being prepared for an emergency, and it may not be clear what to do in the moment.

Pediatric dental emergencies should be treated with care and addressed as soon as possible to preserve the best possible outcome for the child’s future dentition and development. Depending on the type of emergency, here are a few things to keep in mind.

What to do in a pediatric dental emergency

Some pediatric dental emergencies are obvious, such as when a child has suffered a blow to the face. Others are less clear, and the actions that caregivers take in the immediate aftermath can have a long-lasting effect on the child’s recovery.

If a tooth has been knocked out

Tooth loss is a serious problem when it is caused by trauma. Even if the knocked-out tooth was a baby tooth (also called a milk tooth), the child should still see an emergency pediatric dentist right away. The trauma to the socket could impact the adult tooth later.

If a child has lost a permanent (adult) tooth, the best thing that caregivers and any observers can do is try to locate it. If it can be found, gently try to place it back in the socket and hold it there until the child arrives at the dental office. If this is not possible due to inflammation, store the tooth in a cup of milk or in the child’s mouth to coat it with saliva. This will help preserve the roots and increase the chance that the tooth can be reattached. Do not handle the tooth any more than necessary.

If bleeding is excessive

Many things can cause a child’s mouth to bleed, from a soft tissue injury like a cut on the tongue or cheek to a tooth that has been fractured down to the root. If a child is experiencing bleeding in the oral cavity, try to place pressure on the injury if possible. However, given the shape of the mouth, this may prove to be challenging.

When pressure cannot stop the bleeding, apply gauze to the area, and hold it firmly to the wound. Have the child lean forward to encourage blood to flow out of the mouth rather than down the back of the throat, as swallowing a large amount of blood can induce vomiting. Seek medical attention immediately. If possible, cover any hands going into the mouth with a clean material, such as gauze or a latex glove, to avoid introducing bacteria to the wound. Try to prevent the child from speaking, to reduce stress on the tissue.

If a tooth is chipped or broken

Teeth can suffer severe damage even without being knocked out. If a child’s tooth has been chipped, cracked, or broken, this constitutes a dental emergency, even if the child is not in pain. The inner sections of the tooth, such as the pulp chamber, may be exposed by the break, leading to the possibility of infection and the need for a root canal.

As with a knocked-out tooth, try to collect as many of the tooth pieces as possible, and preserve them either in the mouth or in a cup of milk. For children, milk is often the best choice, as it can be difficult for them to fight the urge to swallow the fragments. If the pieces cannot be recovered, the dentist can still reshape the tooth.

Address any bleeding using gauze, and seek emergency care, as the tooth can likely be put back together using a bonding agent. If the tooth is held together loosely, gently hold a moistened piece of gauze over it to keep it together.

Address pediatric dental emergencies immediately

If your child is facing a dental emergency, visiting a pediatric dentist as soon as possible after the incident can mean the difference between restoring the tooth and losing it entirely. Our pediatric emergency dentist works hard to preserve children’s oral health whenever possible. Please contact our office to explain your situation and let us know that you are on your way.

Request an appointment here: https://www.grandparkwaypediatricdental.com or call Grand Parkway Pediatric Dental at (832) 579-0960 for an appointment in our Richmond office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Pediatric Dental Emergencies in Richmond, TX.

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