Posted on August 15, 2014
Hi, my name is Greg Evans, I am a (board certified) pediatric dentist practicing in Fort Collins Colorado.
Dental emergencies are always inconvenient and always upsetting to everyone. To answer your question here on some quick tips to first aid for dental problems:
1) Stop the bleeding. Using firm pressure and a wet cloth, find where the bleeding in coming from.
If it’s coming from soft tissue, is the cut deep enough to see fat or muscle tissue? If yes get to a dentist for stitches. Generally speaking tongues are not usually sutured unless a portion of the tongue is loose and if the lip it cut past its red border, you will need to find a plastic surgeon to do stitches.
2) Does the jaw close. See if your child can open and close his jaw normally and if any teeth interfere with full closure. If teeth are out of place a child will not be able to bite fully, call a dentist right away. If the jaw deviates side to side, it may be a jaw fracture so call the oral surgeon or emergency department of your hospital.
3) Are any teeth dislocated? If the teeth are baby teeth, they are generally taken out so as not to cause infection later that my harm permanent teeth. If the exception is children less than 22 months. A pediatric dentist needs to be called to see if they can preserve the front teeth before the baby canines come it or their might be long term growth consequences.
If the teeth are permanent they need to be put back into their socket and wired in to heal properly. A bold parent can pop a tooth back into place, and usually the child has little pain, but for sure the teeth will need a dentist’s attention to hold them in place.
4) Are the teeth chipped? If the teeth are chipped, you may need a temporary sedative filling to cover the chip and prevent acute pain or root canal. If the tooth is chipped in to the nerve space a dentist may be able to save the young tooth from a root canal with quick attention.
5) Is a tooth knocked out? If it is a baby tooth, leave it out and the crisis is over.
If it is a permanent tooth, you MUST put the tooth back into the socket it came from without washing it immediately and find a dentist to wire it into place. A child that has a tooth knocked out will suffer long term bone defects if that tooth is not put back into place. Some people say put the tooth in milk, but that is a distant second option to getting the tooth back in the socket.
That’s quick rundown of what to do when. For a school, have an emergency plan and a dentist on call just in case. If you are reading this as your spouse is phoning around town, give me a call directly on my cell 970 481 6728.
If you are not in an emergency, to find out what other questions you may need the answers too, log on to my website at biggrinswithdrgreg.com or email me. I love what I do and I would love to help you raise beautiful healthy children!