Preparing for a Dental Emergency

A fall off of monkey bars, or a ball to the mouth during a game. Dental emergencies occur no matter how much protective gear kids wear. These are the most common dental emergencies and the steps to have the best possible outcome.
 
Knocked Out Tooth (Dental Avulsion)
 
Time is an important factor in any dental emergency, but especially if a tooth is knocked out. You have about an hour to get to a dentist to re-implant the tooth for the most successful outcome. If the tooth affected was a baby tooth, your dentist won’t attempt to put it back in because the effort would likely damage the developing permanent tooth under the gum. 
 
How you can help:
 
Recover the tooth and gently rinse off any dirt or debris with clean water. Do not scrub or scrape the tooth. Avoid touching the roots of the tooth, handle it by the crown only.  
 
Keep the tooth wet during transportation. Safe transport can be provided by placing it gently in your child’s mouth, or in a glass of milk or saliva. Moisture is critically important for re-implantation success.
 
Dental Intrusion (tooth pushed into jawbone)
 
A fall or similar trauma can force a tooth up into the jawbone, injure the attaching ligament or fracture the socket. Depending on the severity of the damage, your dentist may let the tooth descend back into place over time, or may have to perform a root canal procedure to fix the damaged portion of the tooth. 
 
How you can help:
 
Rinse away blood, dirt, or debris with clean, cold water. Use ice packs on the outside of the cheek or mouth to reduce swelling. Administer an age-appropriate dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Visit the dentist immediately or proceed to the Emergency Room. 
 
Tooth Displacement (Luxation, Extrusion)
 
Trauma to the mouth can displace a tooth from its position in the socket. It can remain in the socket or become partly removed from the socket. In young children, primary tooth displacements often heal without dental intervention.  However, dental treatment should be sought for permanent teeth that have been displaced to save the tooth and prevent infection.
 
How you can help:
Place a cold, moist compress on the affected area. Administer an age-appropriate dose of acetaminophen. 
 
If you experience a dental emergency in Westfield, IN please visit our office or the emergency room immediately.

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