Emergencies

My child just injured a tooth. What should I do?

If this is a medical emergency, call 911 right now. If it is a dental injury only contact your child’s pediatric dentist right now. Time can be very important in these situations.

Follow these guidelines for remedies to common injuries.

  • Knocked out baby tooth: Call our office as soon as possible so that we may get you in to see one of our doctors. DO NOT replace a baby tooth back into your child’s mouth. Doing this may damage the developing permanent tooth.
  • Permanent tooth knocked out: Call or come in to our office immediately. If possible, rinse the tooth with cool water and place it back into the socket and hold it there with a clean cloth. If you cannot place your child’s tooth back in the socket, it’s best to keep the tooth in milk or water when there is no milk available.
  • Chipped or Fractured Tooth: Give our office a call as soon as you can. If possible bring the chipped fragment with you.
  • Toothache: If there is swelling, call our office immediately. If not, bring your child in as soon as possible so that we may find the source of your child’s discomfort.

The best source of information regarding your child’s specific injury will come from your child’s pediatric dentist. If your child has seen a regular general dentist, we recommend you contact that office. Feel free to give us a call if you would like. We’ll be glad to help out.

My child injured a tooth a few days ago. What should I do?

Contact your child’s pediatric dentist as soon as practical — now if possible.

The best source of information regarding your child’s specific injury will come from your child’s pediatric dentist. If you have not yet contacted your child’s pediatric dentist we recommend you do so. If your child has seen a regular general dentist, we recommend you contact that office. Feel free to give us a call if you would like. We’ll be glad to help out if we can.

If you have already contacted your child’s pediatric dentist and are looking for some general follow-up information you’re in the right place.

What is the very first thing to do following an injury to a primary front tooth?

Contact your child’s pediatric dentist. Sorry, we just had to mention it again.

Ok, I’ve contacted my child’s pediatric dentist and no treatment was necessary right then. What happens now? What will happen in the future?

Wait to see what reaction, if any, occurs. We will also examine the injured tooth periodically.

As it turns out, this is one of those wait and see situations. It is not possible to predict with certainty what will happen following an injury to a primary tooth.

All pediatric dentists have seen a fairly minor injury produce a problem that requires treatment and we’ve all seen a rather severe injury which does not. To complicate things more, infections can develop as a result of an injured primary tooth months or years after the initial injury.

Because we are unable to precisely anticipate what will happen to an injured primary tooth, we check these teeth for quite a while following this type of injury; usually for years.

Alright, we don’t know what will happen exactly, but what is likely to happen?

Good news for parents: Children frequently clunk primary front teeth. Our practice sees several patients each day who’ve experienced this type of injury.

Injured primary front teeth typically react in 1 of 2 ways:

  1. What usually happens is nothing. These injured primary teeth usually require no treatment. We check it — everything looks fine — we check it again — everything still looks fine — if it was sensitive, the sensitivity goes away – if it was loose, it tightens up — if the gum tissue was injured it heals normally — everything is uneventful (“uneventful” is one of our favorite words) or a problem develops.
  2. When a problem does develop after an injury to a primary front tooth an abscess (infection) frequently is the culprit.