New Haven: 203-787-3669
In the event of a dental emergency, call our office and describe your child’s situation to the staff member who answers the phone. This information will be relayed immediately to the doctor in the office or on call.
It is reassuring to know if an emergency occurs after hours your urgent call will be relayed to the doctor on call by our 24-hour answering service.
Handling Your Child's Dental Emergency
Knowing how to handle a dental emergency can mean the difference between saving and losing your child's tooth. Here are some tips to help you cope quickly and calmly with a pediatric dental emergency.
Primary Teeth and Permanent Teeth
Baby teeth are important! If a child's primary ("baby") tooth is injured, you should contact your child's pediatric dentist as soon as possible. While it is normal for primary teeth to loosen naturally and eventually fall out, an accident that damages a primary tooth can also harm the developing permanent tooth underneath.
Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth
Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse the root with water if it is dirty. Do not scrub the tooth or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in tis socket with a clean washcloth or gauze and take your child to the pediatric dentist or emergency room as soon as possible. If this isn't possible, put the tooth in a container with milk, saliva or water and seek care as soon as you possibly can. Don't forget to take the tooth with you!
Rinse the mouth with warm water to keep the area clean. Put cold compresses on the face to reduce swelling. Contact your pediatric dentist immediately. If you can find the broken tooth fragment, bring it with you to the dentist.
SIGNS TO LOOK FOR AFTER A TOOTH HAS BEEN INJURED:
Injured teeth may turn grey, black or yellow. Such a color change may be a sign of change in the health of the nerve of the tooth. While no immediate treatment may be necessary, these changes need to be closely monitored.
This appears on the gum as a small pimple-like swelling that may be a sign that the nerve of the tooth may have died and become infected. Immediate treatment is necessary to avoid spread of infection and possible damage to the underlying developing adult tooth. This treatment may involve removal or pulp (nerve) treatment of the infected tooth.
Swelling and/or Pain:
Swelling and/or pain immediately following an injury are common. However, swelling and/or pain that develops over days to weeks following an injury requires immediate evaluation, as this may indicate potentially dangerous infection.
Possible results of an injury to a primary ("baby") tooth:
Because of the close proximity of the roots of the primary teeth to the developing permanent ("adult") teeth, an injury to the primary teeth can result in damage to the underlying developing permanent teeth.
Begin by cleaning carefully around the sore tooth. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped around or between teeth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you place aspirin on your child’s aching tooth or on the gum. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is recommended. Contact our office for an appointment as soon as possible.
Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek
Clean the area gently with a clean, moist cloth. A cold compress can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, call our office or go to an emergency room.
Other Emergency Conditions:
Possible Broken Jaw
In the event of jaw injury, secure the mouth closed with a towel, tie or handkerchief. Apply cold compresses to control swelling. Apply cold compresses to control swelling. Take your child to an emergency room immediately.
Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out
Fold a clean piece of gauze and place it (firmly) over the bleeding area. Instruct your child to bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes. Contact us if bleeding continues.