Considerations During A Suspected Pediatric Dental Emergency

If your child has a dental emergency away from home, you may not know what to do. Nevertheless, prompt action must be taken during a pediatric dental emergency, or the young patient could suffer negative consequences, such as the loss of a permanent tooth.

Here are a few things that you should keep in mind if your child has a dental emergency.

Every Dental Issue Is Not an Emergency

Some dental issues that may arise are not considered true emergencies. A child may suffer from general dental discomfort due to teething or other natural occurrences. This type of discomfort can often be treated using an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as an analgesic gel. 

Still, there are instances in which emergency dental care is needed. If your child has a dislodged, chipped or cracked tooth, he or she will likely need to be seen by a dentist as quickly as possible. Also, relentless dental pain is often viewed as an emergency situation.

Dental pain may result from a tooth infection or a severe cavity for which treatment should not be postponed. Dental x-rays may be needed to identify the source of the pain.  

What You Do Immediately After Identifying a Dental Issue Is Important

A dental emergency requires professional care. However, there are some things that you can do to help stabilize the situation until your child reaches the dentist's office. 

If a child has dislodged a tooth, it is important to preserve the tooth by placing it in the pocket of the youngster's cheek or by keeping it in a small container of milk. Also, the tooth should not be scrubbed or washed with a detergent. The sensitive tissues needed for the tooth's successful reattachment in the mouth may be damaged. 

If a child's tooth pain seems unbearable, pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may help lessen the discomfort until you reach the dental office. The medication should only be administered as directed.

The Loss of a Primary Tooth Can Be Detrimental

Many people view primary teeth as unimportant. However, a primary tooth maintains a space in the child's mouth until the permanent tooth emerges in its place. Thus, a primary tooth that is lost due to a dental emergency can have significant repercussions. Additionally, if the tooth is deeply decayed, the decay can spread to the underlying adult tooth, even though the tooth has not yet erupted.

If you believe that your child has a dental emergency, contact an emergency dentist in your local area.