EmergenciesIf your child is involved in an accident resulting in injuries to the mouth or teeth, please call our office as soon as possible. If you are calling after business hours, you will be able to reach Dr. Mina or a member of the team by calling our office. The first 30 minutes after an accident are the most critical for treatment of dental trauma.
Dental accidents occur when least expected. To help avoid confusion, it is best to be familiar with your child’s health history and vaccinations. Tetanus vaccinations are sometimes needed in certain cases of trauma (if they have not been given previously).
1 - Fractured or broken tooth: If your child experiences trauma to the mouth and a tooth becomes broken or fractured, please call the office for an evaluation of the injury. It is important to bring all pieces of the broken tooth when coming to the office. Until your appointment, place tooth pieces in a container with clean cold water or wrap it in clean wet cloth. [TOP]
2 - Dislodged Tooth: If your child has dislodged a tooth from its place but not knocked out, apply gauze to bleeding areas and call our office immediately. We will evaluate the injury and discuss the proper course of treatment with you. Permanent teeth will require repositioning/stabilizing promptly. [TOP]
3 - Knocked Out Permanent Tooth: Try to find the tooth. Handle the tooth only by the crown (the portion you would normally see in the mouth) and not the pointed root. Be careful not to scrape the root surface because the tissues that cover it are what help the tooth survive the injury. Your child can rinse with water. If the tooth is dirty, you can rinse it in water briefly. The best way to do this is to use a small container with water in it. If a sink is used, please place the drain stopper first. [TOP]
The tooth must be kept moist. The best way to preserve the tooth is to reinsert it in its socket even if you are unable to seat it in all the way. Have your child bite on a folded piece of gauze to hold the tooth in place. The next best option is to store the tooth in a special solution created to preserve it. This solution is found in containers called “Save A Tooth” (http://www.save-a-tooth.com) and should be available at schools who participate in sports. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, and no preservative pack is found, place it in milk. The final option is saliva. If the patient is old enough, the tooth may be held inside the mouth by the cheek. The child must be seen immediately to stabilize the tooth. Time is a critical factor in the success of treatment. [TOP]
4 - Knocked Out Baby Tooth: try to find the tooth. Clean your child’s mouth with a soft wet cloth. Biting on a piece of gauze will help stop the bleeding. It is important to have your child examined to determine if the whole tooth fell out or if only part of it did. We will need to evaluate possible injury to the underlying permanent teeth. If you are certain that it is a baby tooth, do not put it back in the mouth. Knocked out baby teeth are usually not replanted because of the potential for subsequent damage to developing permanent teeth. [TOP]
Discoloration of Teeth: Injured teeth may turn dark and this could be an indication of a dying nerve (pulp). Sometimes the discoloration lasts for a short period of time and the tooth may regain its normal or near normal color. More often, the discoloration lasts for a longer period of time until treated. If the discoloration lasts for several weeks, please call the office for an evaluation of the tooth. [TOP]
5 - Tooth Ache: Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. You can gently use dental floss to remove food debris. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. A cavity could be the cause. Sometimes, present cavities may not be visible except on a dental x-ray. Another possibility is a problem under an existing filling. You may give your child children’s Tylenol or Motrin according to the package directions. However, a comprehensive examination will be required to properly evaluate the situation. [TOP]
6 - Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek: Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. A moist tea-bag may also stop bleeding and soothe the area. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, go to an emergency room.
7 - Gum Boil, Abscess, Infection: An abscess or gum boil in the area of trauma is an indication of a dead nerve in the tooth. This appears as a “pimple” on the gum near the injured tooth. Treatment should be administered to the area as soon as possible to reduce pain, swelling or discomfort and development of healthy permanent teeth. Treatment depends on many different factors including age and cooperation of the child and stage of the development of the permanent tooth. The injured tooth can be treated with baby root canal therapy or may have to be extracted. Generally, antibiotics are not required unless the child has extreme pain, facial swelling or high fever. [TOP]
8 - Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out: Fold a piece of gauze and place it (tightly) over the bleeding area. Bite down on the gauze with steady pressure for 15 minutes. A moist tea bag may also be utilized. If bleeding continues, see a dentist. [TOP]
9 - Broken Appliances If a broken appliance can be removed easily, please remove it. If it cannot be taken out, cover the sharp or protruding portion with cotton balls, gauze or soft chewing gum (sugarless is best). Please schedule an appointment. Although we recommend you inform us immediately if an existing space maintainer becomes loose, this situation is not considered a dental emergency. [TOP]