Few things are as terrifying as realizing that your son or daughter has suffered an injury. Especially when it involves their face or their sweet smile. Although dental emergencies might be new to you, these kinds of injuries are common. As many as one third will have some kind of dental trauma during their childhood.
The clinicians at the Children’s Dental Center understand how scary these situations can be. That's why we will do everything in our power to resolve the injury as. As certified pediatric dentists in Fishers, Dr. Edwards and Dr. Bradley love helping children, and understand how to correct dental trauma. Because many parents struggle with what is a dental emergency and how to handle the situation, we created this helpful guide.
What Counts as an Emergency?
Dental emergencies vary in their severity. They can range from simple cuts and scrapes to full-scale jaw fractures. But, we want you to know that if dental emergencies in Fishers and Indianapolis are important to you, they are important to us. We will do everything we can to make you and your child more comfortable. Depending on the nature of your child’s injury, you may need to do different things. You can either contact our office for an emergency appointment, care for the injury at home, or take your child to the hospital for emergency evaluation and care.
Hospital Care—Emergency Room
Because dental emergencies often involve a blow to the head or face, you should take your child into the nearest emergency room or call 911 anytime they lose consciousness or if they have trouble breathing. You should also visit the emergency room if your child has either of these symptoms:
Possible Broken Jaw
A broken jaw can affect the way your child’s teeth and jaw grow, which is why you should seek emergency care. If your little one has swelling, pain, or numbness in their jaw area after a blow to the head. Broken jaws can also cause teeth displacement, bruising, or teeth that feel loose.
f your child is bleeding a lot, don’t wait to schedule a dental appointment—contact emergency responders immediately. While you wait for emergency services, apply pressure to the area with clean gauze. Instead of removing the gauze and replacing it with a clean variety, add more gauze. Switching gauze instead of adding more can pull out the clot, which can cause more blood loss.
Emergency Dental Care—Our Office
Fortunately, not all dental emergencies need a trip to the emergency room. If your child has a dental injury but is otherwise fine, you can contact our office to meet with an emergency pediatric dentist. We will work hard to see your child as soon as possible. Here are a few reasons to seek emergency dental care.
Knocked-out teeth, also called dental avulsions, can seem scary. But Indianapolis pediatric dentist Dr. Edwards might be able to reattach it if you are careful. After you find the tooth, pick it up by the crown (not the roots) and rinse it off with clean water to remove the grime. Keep the tooth moist by holding it in milk or water. If your child is older, they can also keep the tooth in the pouch between their cheek and teeth.
If your child has an accident that causes tooth displacement, try to avoid moving the teeth back into their original position. Instead, offer your child a pain reliever, such as Children’s Tylenol. Then, apply a cold compress to relieve swelling. After evaluating the injury, our clinicians can move the teeth back into place and splint the area if necessary.
Tooth Chip or Fracture
If your child suffers a tooth chip or a crown fracture, cleanse the area with warm water. Like with tooth displacement, apply a cold compress. Again, offering a strong pain reliever, such as Children’s Tylenol, could help your child to remain calm until their appointment.
If your child experiences mild dental trauma, you might be able to treat them from the comfort of your own home. Here are a few examples of when at-home care would be appropriate.
Bitten Tongue or Lip
Sudden falls or sports-related injuries can lead to bitten tongues or lips, which can lead to mild cuts or abrasions. If the area is bleeding, apply some clean gauze until it stops. If your child is in pain, offer a pain reliever or apply a cold compress to the outside of the cheek. These kinds of simple injuries heal within a few days.
Toothaches can come from impacted food, infection, trauma, or even wisdom teeth eruptions. To keep your child comfortable, check the teeth for food and help your child to brush and floss. Look for redness, swelling, and signs of infections. If the area is infected, make an appointment for an emergency visit with our office. But, if the tooth is only aching because it is coming in, there is nothing to worry about.
Tips For Calming Your Child Before Their Appointment
During dental emergencies, it can be helpful to know how to keep your child calm and comfortable. Here are a few tips for improving their experience during a dental emergency.
Familiarize Your Child With the Office
Make sure your child is familiar with their pediatric dentistry in Indianapolis. If they know the doctors and staff and feel comfortable around them, they will be more willing to visit the dentist in case of an emergency.
Use Reassuring Language and Actions
During an emergency, only use reassuring language and actions. Talk with your child in a soothing voice, and explain that everything will be okay. Because emergencies can be scary for kids, they may need extra hugs or cuddles.
Bring a Comfort Toy or Blanket
If you need to visit the emergency room or come in for an emergency visit to our Indianapolis pedaitric dentistry, feel free to let your child bring along a comfort toy or blanket. Having something from home can make them feel like everything is going to be okay.
Dental Emergency? Contact Us Today
The Children’s Dental Center is proud to offer emergency pediatric dental care to the Indianapolis area in Fishers, Indiana. The next time your child suffers a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to contact our office right away.