Emergency Pediatric DentistRichmond, TX
An emergency pediatric dentist has additional training focused on diagnosing and treating children with dental problems and provides urgent care when emergencies arise. Emergency children's dentists are qualified to care for children from birth until adulthood.
Pediatric emergency dentists typically customize their clinics to make the environment more comfortable for children. That includes doing little things like decorating their clinics with popular cartoon characters and painting their facilities with bright, fun colors. Their clinics' waiting rooms typically provide toys, games, and videos to keep children entertained while waiting for their appointment.
Even the tools used by emergency pediatric dentists are customized for children. They are typically smaller and less intimidating than the tools used by general dentists. All this helps to teach the child that dental clinics are fun environments, not a place to be scared of.
An emergency pediatric dentist is also trained to work with special-needs children. They use behavioral modeling and positive reinforcement to keep children relaxed during their appointments.
Reasons to visit an emergency pediatric dentist
Dental emergencies tend to occur at the worst times possible, so emergency pediatric dentists provide 24/7 care. Some of the issues that might require a trip to an emergency pediatric dentist include:
1. Cuts to soft tissues like the tongue and cheek
Cuts to the soft tissues in the mouth like the tongue are typically classified as dental emergencies. If a cut in the mouth comes with bleeding, apply pressure to it with a clean cloth or gauze. If the bleeding cannot be reduced with pressure or it does not stop within 15 minutes, head to the nearest emergency room.
2. A knocked-out tooth
A child's teeth getting knocked out counts as a dental emergency. The first step you should take if this occurs is to find what is left of the tooth. Rinse it with cold water, but do not clean it. Head to the nearest emergency dentist since the tooth can often be reattached if the child sees a dentist within a few hours. You can store the tooth in saliva or warm milk while heading to the dentist.
3. A chipped or fractured tooth
A severely chipped or fractured tooth requires emergency dental care. The damage might open up the pulp chamber, leaving the nerve and blood vessels stored there exposed to bacteria in the mouth. This increases the risk of infection and leaves the tooth vulnerable to further damage.
Fractured teeth are usually treated by performing a root canal and covering the tooth up with a crown. A root canal involves removing the soft tissues in the pulp chamber and sealing the tooth back up. It allows dentists to save teeth with damaged pulp chambers.
A tooth infection always counts as a dental emergency. It is a sign that bacteria in the mouth have reached the nerves and blood vessels in the pulp chamber. Root canal therapy is the standard treatment for infected teeth. The procedure has a high success rate, so it only has to be performed once. Antibiotics are typically inserted into the pulp chamber during the procedure to ensure the infection is stopped in its tracks.
An infected tooth is one of the most painful dental issues a child can find themselves dealing with, and it can be life-threatening if the infection spreads to other parts of the body like the brain and heart. Some of the signs and symptoms of an infected tooth include:
- Excruciating toothaches that linger
- Inflamed gums around the infected tooth
- Pus coming out of the infected tooth
- Bad breath
5. Dental intrusions
Dental intrusions are caused by trauma pushing a tooth into the jawbone. The trauma is usually significant enough to damage the tooth's socket and any ligaments around it. An emergency pediatric dentist can assess the damage and determine the best way to restore the tooth. In some cases, an extraction might be the best option.
6. Loose teeth
A child's tooth can become loose due to a number of things like trauma to the face or infected gum tissues. It is always classified as a dental emergency since loose teeth eventually fall out of the mouth when left untreated.
An emergency pediatric dentist can assess the cause of the child's loose teeth and come up with an appropriate treatment. In many cases, the tooth simply needs to be stabilized so it can reset its socket.
Toothaches that keep coming back need urgent dental care. Toothaches are the brain's way of letting you know something is wrong with a tooth. It might be a minor issue like a cavity or a more serious problem like an infection.
An emergency pediatric dentist can diagnose the root cause of the child's toothache so it can be permanently resolved. Common treatments for toothaches include applying dental filling and root canal therapy.
8. Popping or locking jaw
A child's jaw making popping sounds as they open and close their mouth or a child having difficulty opening their mouth can be a sign something is wrong with the temporomandibular joints. These are the sliding, hinge-like joints connecting the skull's upper and lower regions.
Issues with these joints can lead to various problems like headaches, toothaches, ear pain, and difficulty eating/speaking. An emergency pediatric dentist can diagnose what's wrong with the temporomandibular joints and recommend appropriate treatments.
9. Bleeding gums
Gums that bleed after being stimulated by activities like brushing or flossing might indicate a gum infection. Gum disease is an infection of gum tissues that typically affects people over 30, but children can also develop it. It is an infection that requires emergency care since its early stages can be reversed. Gum disease becomes chronic in its advanced stage and can only be managed with treatment. It is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the U.S.
Get your child emergency dental care
Our emergency pediatric dentist is available 24/7 to help you deal with any emergencies as they arise. Call or visit our Richmond clinic to get the urgent care your child needs.
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