Kids are constantly getting into accidents, so it is no surprise that many dental emergencies involve younger patients. For most parents, a pediatric dental emergency can be nerve-wracking. Being able to recognize a pediatric dental emergency and knowing how to get emergency dental services can help you stay calm in case an accident does happen.
What Is a Pediatric Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is any dental problem that requires prompt treatment to stop bleeding, stop severe pain, or save a tooth. The most common example of a dental emergency is a tooth that your child has knocked out or a tooth with a small chip or crack, which does require care within a few days. However, chipped or cracked teeth can also be an emergency that needs immediate care if they are causing intense pain. Damage to the gums, tongue, or other soft tissues of the mouth can be an emergency if the pain is intense and the damage is extensive. Certain infections of the mouth, such as a dental abscess, can become an emergency if you delay treatment for too long.
Signs Your Child Has a Dental Emergency
In some cases, it is fairly obvious when a dental emergency is happening. If your child runs in crying, bleeding excessively, and holding a tooth in their hand, you will need to get help from our pediatric dentistry. But how do you tell what’s wrong if your toddler has an abscess? To identify more subtle types of dental emergencies, you need to keep an eye out for other symptoms. Some dental emergencies can cause swollen gums, fevers, bad breath, or reddened gums. Children not old enough to describe pain may be fussier than usual or refuse to eat. If you suspect there might be a problem, call the dentist. They can listen to your description of the symptoms and let you know if you need emergency care.
Is It Still an Emergency if It’s a Baby Tooth?
One of the biggest misunderstandings in a pediatric emergency is the idea that injuries to a child’s first set of teeth are not serious. It is true that there is less of a need to rush to the dentist to save a tooth. However, a cracked, chipped, or knocked-out baby tooth is still something that should get treated quickly. First of all, there can still be a considerable amount of pain when you have an injury to a primary tooth. If a tooth falls out too soon, other teeth can crowd into the spot and cause misalignments that need dental braces later. It is also possible that the permanent tooth further back in the jaw may have an injury. Therefore, you still need a dentist to check out the problem as soon as possible.
How to Treat a Child’s Dental Emergency
If your child has a dental emergency, time is of the essence. It is important to get care as soon as possible instead of waiting until regular dentist office hours. You can ask your dentist at any time about their emergency policy. Most dentists will have an emergency care line you can call. This will let you talk to the dentist at any time and schedule a visit outside of office hours. In many cases, you can be at their office getting care within an hour. While you wait at the dentist, be sure to keep any knocked-out teeth loose. Apply gentle pressure to stop bleeding, and give your child an over-the-counter, child-safe painkiller to handle pain. If there is severe bleeding, tissue trauma, or broken bones, you may want to go to the emergency room.
If your family is dealing with a dental emergency, get prompt care from Lovett Dental Conroe. We have plenty of experience working with younger patients, and many of our offices are open on the weekend. You can also call our emergency line to get care outside of office hours. For more details on our pediatric dental services, give us a call at 936.274.1925.