Pediatric Dental Emergencies

No parent ever wants to see their child in pain.  However, dental emergencies can sometimes occur.  Here are some of the most common, as well as steps to follow to resolve the issue and have the best possible outcome.

Toothache

Toothaches are common in children of all ages and rarely occur without cause.  If pain persists, contact the office of Dr. Janet Visanescu at (502) 222-7874 for next steps.  Some common causes of toothache include: tooth fractures, tooth decay, tooth trauma, and wisdom teeth eruption (adolescence).

Dr. Visanescu advises:

  1. Cleanse the area using warm water.  Do not medicate or warm the affected tooth or adjacent gum area.
  2. Check for impacted food and remove it as necessary using a clean finger, dental floss or a toothbrush.
  3. Apply a cold compress to the affected area to reduce swelling.
  4. Contact our office at (502) 222-7874 to seek advice.

 Knocked Out Tooth

If a tooth has been knocked-out of the child’s mouth completely, it is important to contact our office at (502) 222-7874 immediately because time is an important factor in saving and reimplantation of a tooth.  In general, dentists do not attempt to reimplant knocked out primary (baby) teeth, because the reimplantation procedure itself can cause damage to the tooth bud, and thereby damage the emerging permanent tooth.

Dr. Visanescu will always try to reimplant an adult tooth that has been knocked out, unless the trauma has caused irreparable damage.  The reimplantation procedure is almost always more successful if it is performed within one hour of the incident.

Dr. Visanescu advises:

  1. Recover the tooth.  Do not touch the tooth roots! Handle the crown only.
  2. Gently rinse off dirt and debris with water.  Do not scrub or scrape the tooth.
  3. For older children, insert the tooth into its original socket using gentle pressure, or encourage the child to place the tooth in the cheek pouch.  For younger children, place the tooth in a glass of milk or saliva.  Do not try to put the tooth back in a young child’s mouth, as they may swallow it.
  4. Keep the tooth wet during transportation.  Moisture is critically important for reimplantation success.
  5. You can call Dr. Visanescu's office at (502) 222-7874 or take the child to the Emergency Room immediately during after-hours as time is critical in saving the tooth.

tooth pushed into jawbone

Sometimes, dental trauma forces a tooth (or several teeth) upwards into the jawbone.  Oftentimes, the force of the trauma is great enough to injure the tooth’s ligament and fracture its socket.

If you suspect or observe that such dental intrusion has occurred, it is important to contact our office at (502) 222-7874 as soon as possible.  Depending on the nature and depth of the intrusion, Dr. Visanescu will either wait for the tooth to descend naturally, or perform root canal therapy to preserve the structure of the tooth.

Dr. Visanescu advises:

  1. Rinse the child’s mouth with cold water.
  2. Place ice packs around affected areas to reduce swelling.
  3. Offer a pediatrician-approved pain relief such as Tylenol
  4. You can visit our office or take the child to the Emergency Room immediately during after-hours.

Tooth Displacement

If a primary tooth of a young child has become partly displaced from its socket, it generally tends to heal itself without medical treatment.  However, dental treatment should be sought for permanent teeth that have been displaced in any manner in order to save the tooth and prevent infection.  It is important to contact Dr. Visanescu if displacement is suspected.

Dr. Visanescu advises:

  1. Place a cold, moist compress on the affected area.
  2. Offer a pediatrician approved pain relief such as Tylenol
  3. You can call our office or take the child to the Emergency Room immediately during after-hours

Broken Tooth

The crown is the largest, most visible part of the tooth.  In most cases, the crown is the part of the tooth that sustains trauma.

Dr. Visanescu can readily assess the severity of the fracture using dental X-rays, but any change in tooth color (for example, pinkish or yellowish tinges inside the tooth) is an emergency warning sign.  Minor crown fractures may require the application of dental sealant, whereas more severe crown fractures sometimes require pulp treatments.  Jagged enamel can irritate and inflame soft oral tissues, causing infection.

Dr. Visanescu advises:

  1. Rinse the child’s mouth with warm water.
  2. Place a cold, moist compress on the affected area.
  3. Offer a pediatrician approved pain relief such as Tylenol
  4. Pack the tooth with a material that can be near a tooth but will eventually break down, such as a wet paper towel.
  5. You can call our office or take the child to the Emergency Room immediately during after-hours

Root Fracture

A root fracture is caused by direct trauma, and isn’t noticeable to the naked eye.  If a root fracture is suspected, dental x-rays need to be taken.  Depending on the exact positioning of the fracture and the child’s level of discomfort, the tooth can be monitored, treated, or extracted as a worst case scenario.

Dr. Visanescu advises:

  1. Place a cold, moist compress on the affected area.
  2. Offer a pediatrician approved pain relief such as Tylenol
  3. Call our office for instructions and next steps.

Dental Concussion

A tooth that has not been dislodged from its socket or fractured, but has received a bang or knock, can be described as “concussed.”  Typically occurring in toddlers, dental concussion can cause a tooth to discolor permanently or temporarily.  Unless the tooth turns black or dark (indicating that the tooth is dying and may require root canal therapy), dental concussion does not require emergency treatment.

Dr. Janet Visanescu, DMD
Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
120 E Adams St Ste 1
La Grange, KY 40031
(502) 222-7874
Patient Rating: 4.9/5
based on 36 reviews

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