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Having accidents is a common thing when it comes to children, no matter what age they are. Whether they fall down or hurt themselves when playing with their friends or in sports, there is always a chance they could get hurt.
A common type of injury that children endure is a dental injury. If this type of injury happens to your child, you should know that it can be treated. A severely chipped tooth or even if the tooth has been knocked out, it can be saved as long as proper treatment occurs immediately after the injury. After dental trauma occurs, there are some extremely important steps that should be taken in order give the tooth the best chance of long-term survival.
Seek Medical Attention
If the dental injury is caused by a blow to the head. You should check your child over to look for any signs of a concussion. If they are dizzy, nauseous, lost consciousness, or you believe they may have suffered a concussion, it is extremely important to take the first step and bring your child to the doctor or emergency room. Other than the dental trauma that can be visibly seen, there could be other trauma to the head that needs attention first.
Familiarize Yourself With First-Aid for Dental Trauma
When it comes to dental injuries, it is extremely important to act fast in order to try and help save the tooth. There are some steps that should be taken depending on the situation.
If the Tooth is knocked Loose
If a baby tooth is knocked loose prematurely, the biggest concern is not for the baby tooth itself, but for the adult tooth that is forming underneath. It is extremely important that you do not try and put the tooth back in place or move it around. You should take your child to the dentist for treatment. The children’s dentist will evaluate the tooth. Then decide whether they would like to leave it in place or extract it.
If the tooth that is knocked loose is an adult tooth, it is important to try and put the tooth back in the correct spot as quickly as possible. When too much time passes, blood can begin to clot. This can get in the way of where the tooth is supposed to be. If the tooth has been displaced into a different position and you are afraid you will hurt your child putting it back into place, then leave it for the dentist. Ensure that your hands have been washed in order to reduce the risk of bacteria getting into the wound and causing an infection.
Regardless of whether you put the tooth back in place or not. You need to bring your child to the dentist as quickly as possible to be examined. Depending on the severity of the loose tooth, it may need to be splinted in order to ensure it remains in the correct place. A splint is generally flexible and looks similar to braces.
Being hit in the mouth can often cause a tooth to chip or fracture. If the tooth chips, it is extremely important to find as much of the tooth as you possibly can. Then bring your child to the dentist as quickly as possible, bringing the tooth chips with. The dentist will do an exam and evaluate the extent of the damage to the tooth. If it is just a small chip, they may be able to easily repair it or smooth it down. But if the chipped tooth or crack is large enough and exposes the nerve of the tooth, they may need to do some treatment for the nerve before repairing the tooth.
If a Tooth is Knocked Out
There are some cases where an accident can cause a tooth to be knocked completely out of the mouth. In these cases, the treatment of a baby tooth is different than that of an adult tooth. With a baby tooth, the dentist will not put try to save the tooth by putting it back in the child’s mouth, but it is still best to take your child to the dentist to have it checked out. An adult tooth is a bit more serious. The tooth can often be saved and put back in as long as immediate action is taken to save it. The immediate steps that need to be taken are:
- Do not touch the root of the tooth. Only pick it up by the crown and do not wash or rinse the tooth.
- It is best, within the first 30 minutes, to put the tooth back in the hole it came from in the mouth, place a washcloth over the tooth, and have your child bite down to keep it in place. If this is not possible, the tooth needs to remain moist by place it in saline or milk. As a last resort, you could place the tooth between the check and gums inside your child’s or even your mouth. The key is to ensure that the roots remain moist so they do not die.
- Immediately go to the dentist for treatment.
Contact Your Child’s Dentist
All dentists have an obligation to ensure that they work to make some sort of arrangements in an emergency situation. This is to make time to give their patients the emergency dental care they need. When it comes to a child’s dental injury, it is best to see a children’s dentist. All dentists have been trained in how to deal with dental emergencies. Pediatric dentists, however, have completed advanced training in dental injuries in children; especially chipped tooth, we can help.
When you bring your child in for treatment, you should be prepared for them to go through a thorough exam. It is important for Dr. Engel to do the exam in order to determine the extent of the injury. Once you have taken your child for treatment for their dental injury, it is important to go to any follow-up visits your dentist may require. This gives the doctor the chance to ensure that everything is healing properly.
Contact Kinder Smiles for all of your child’s dental needs to see why we do what we do.
KinderSmiles Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
400 Kinderkamack Rd.
Oradell, NJ 07649
[My Child] has a Knocked out or Chipped Tooth!
Dr Engel holds a speciality license in pediatric dentistry from New Jersey and New York. He also has attained sedation certification, which allows for in-office oral sedation options, and he’s on staff at Hackensack University Medical Center. As an attending pediatric dentist at HUMC, Dr Engel retains operating room privileges, allowing for an array of treatment modalities and anaesthesia options.