What is a Dental Emergency?
Some common symptoms of emergencies are trauma to the mouth, severe pain, loose permanent teeth and swelling and pain in the face or gums. If these occur, it is important to contact your pediatric dentist as soon as possible.
In the case of a knocked-out permanent tooth, it is crucial to follow these steps to save the tooth so it can be re-implanted as soon as possible.
First, find the missing tooth. Handle it gentle by the crown (the chewing surface), and not the root.
Rinse the tooth with water only, without scrubbing or cleaning it with soap. Do not wrap the tooth in a tissue or cloth. Instead, place the tooth in a cup filled with milk or the patient’s saliva if it cannot be reinserted into the socket.
A toothache can be caused by injury or damage to the tooth or a cavity. It is important to understand the situation as there are many factors that may contribute to pain.
First, clean the surrounding area by rinsing with warm water and using dental floss around the affected tooth. If pain persists, apply a cold pack or compress to alleviate swelling.
Do not place aspirin or heat on the gum or aching tooth as this can cause tissue damage.
Cut or Bitten Lip, Tongue or Cheek
Symptoms include bleeding and pain in the affected area. It is important to stop the bleeding and swelling immediately.
Apply pressure to the wound with gauze or cloth until bleeding has stopped. If there is swelling, use a cold pack or compress in the area.
If bleeding and pain persists, contact your pediatric dentist or take your child to the emergency room.
Chipped or Fractured Tooth
A chipped or fractured tooth is always an emergency, but severity can vary. Any change is color is an immediate warning sign. It is important to take quick action to save the affected tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment.
First, rinse the mouth with warm water and place a cold, moist cold pack or compress on the area. It is permissible to administer Tylenol if pain is severe.
If possible, locate any tooth fragments and bring them to the dentist.
Dental Radiographs (X-rays)
Radiographs (or X-rays) are a necessary part of your child’s dental diagnostic process. They allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during regular examination. They are critical in detecting specific and hidden dental problems like cavities and bone diseases. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more affordable and more comfortable for your child.
On average, most pediatric dentists require cavity detecting radiographs about once a year. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends radiographs and examinations every six months for children with a high risk for tooth decay. It is common practice to obtain a complete set of radiographs every 3 years. At times, it is necessary to obtain a complete set of radiographs every 3 to 5 years.
The amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small and the risk is negligible. In fact, dental radiographs present a far smaller risk than undetected and untreated dental problems. Today’s equipment (including lead body aprons and shields) filters out unnecessary X-rays and restricts the X-ray beam to the area of concern. High-speed film and proper shielding assure that your child receives a negligible amount of radiation exposure.