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How to Handle a Dental Emergency

As a kid, ready and able to get into all sorts of trouble, accidents are bound to happen. As with many accidents, the way that you react to the situation will determine a lot of the outcome. At Encino Pediatric Dental Group we are specialized in caring for children’s teeth during a dental emergency. Depending on the accident, there are specific ways to respond. Here are a few of the most common accidents that we have seen and how to provide the best dental care possible.

CHIPPED/BROKEN TOOTH

Regardless of whether it is a permanent tooth or a baby tooth, it is the severity of the chipped tooth dictates what needs to be done and how soon in any given situation. If the chip only involves the outer portion of the tooth, known as the enamel, or the enamel and the portion directly under it, known as the dentin, a filling will normally suffice. This is not a dental emergency. However, if the tooth has fractured to the nerve of the tooth, then more extensive and immediate attention should be given. This is a dental emergency. And if you are able to recover the missing piece, place it in milk and bring it with you to the dental appointment. We may be able to piece it right back on!

TOOTH IS KNOCKED OUT

When your child has a severe blow to the face enough to knock out a permanent tooth, you need to see emergency care within 30 minutes, at the maximum in order for the tooth to be saved. If possible, we recommend rinsing the tooth off with water to remove any dirt and placing it back in the socket, ensuring that it is facing the right direction and level with the rest of the teeth. Then have your child bite down on a rolled-up towel or cloth until more professional medical attention can be provided. Please be careful not to touch the root of the tooth while rinsing it.

If you are unable to replace the tooth right away, then the most important thing is to make sure that the tooth doesn’t dry out. Place the tooth into either milk or the child’s saliva to transport it.

Remember, time is of the essence, so contact us as soon as the trauma occurs.

If a baby tooth gets knocked out, leave it out. Replacing the baby tooth back into the bone may cause it to get stuck in the bone, preventing the permanent tooth under it from coming in as it should.

TOOTH IS KNOCKED OUT OF POSITION

If the tooth is knocked out of position, see the dentist right away. The goal of the dentist is to push the tooth back into its appropriate position and make sure that it isn’t loose enough for your child to swallow. And remember, the sooner the better (and easier on your child).

There are several different kinds of emergencies. These are just the most common. After addressing your child’s injury and repairing it, we will discuss the appropriate post-treatment home and office care to make sure that your child’s smile looks it’s best.

If your child has recently dealt with a dental emergency, stop into Encino Pediatric Dental Group and get the situation handled today.

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