A pediatric dental emergency can arise unexpectedly as a result of a fall or other sudden injury. Other situations might be caused by tooth decay or infection. These emergencies can be frightening for both children and parents, especially if a tooth is broken or knocked out entirely. Knowing how to react in the wake of…
Tips for Parents from an Emergency Dentist for Children
As an emergency dentist for children, we are regularly called by parents looking for fast advice on how to help a child who is suffering from dental pain. We recommend bringing them to our office immediately so that we can determine what is causing the pain and to treat it. This is important because dental pain is not something like a headache that can be treated with medication and then it goes away. Pain is a sign of a problem that must be fixed to ensure that the pain does not continue. As such, the best piece of advice we can give is to bring a child in immediately. Other than that, here are a few things that every parent should know.
1. Children know what they are talking about
Because children can have a difficult time expressing themselves verbally, it is easy for adults including parents, grandparents, and teachers to not take them seriously. This is a huge mistake and one we recommend parents do not make. When it comes to dental pain, children know what they are talking about. If they say they have a toothache, trust them. It is likely that they genuinely do have a problem and by experiencing pain the body is alerting them to it. Most children are actually slow to complain when it comes to minor dental problems so by the time they speak up it is a sign of an emergency and necessary to bring them in.
2. Tooth decay and dental infections are the number one cause of dental pain
If a child complains of a toothache it is probably because they have dental decay, commonly referred to as cavity or infection. Both should be treated right away before they have the opportunity to spread and cause additional problems. If a child is suffering from tooth decay we can perform a quick cavity treatment, typically less than an hour. Once the decayed portion of the tooth is gone and it has been restored with a dental filling, the pain should stop.
If a toothache is caused by a dental infection we may need to perform a root canal. As an emergency dentist for children, we can get to work removing the infected portion of the tooth but may also require a follow-up visit to complete the restoration. A child may also need a course of antibiotics.
3. A child should come in if they have lost a tooth in an accident
We recommend that parents bring their child to an emergency dentist for children if the tooth has gotten knocked out due to an accident on the playground, car accident or even when wrestling at home. First, we will want to examine the area to ensure that there is no other damage that needs to be fixed. For example, the surrounding teeth may have also suffered trauma like cracks or chips that need to be restored. Next, we may consider placing a spacer to ensure that the space that was supposed to be reserved for the permanent adult tooth is not lost by movement of the surrounding teeth. The tooth that was lost was a permanent tooth, we can then discuss other options for placing it though they may need to wait until they are older to do so.
Visit us right away in an emergency
The most important piece of advice we can give any parent is to call our office and bring their children in for an immediate appointment. As an emergency dentist for children, we can quickly assess the problem and begin offering treatment solutions.
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