Emergency Pediatric DentistNapa, CA
Pediatric dental emergencies are dental issues that require immediate medical attention. These emergencies often occur as a result of an accident. By delaying treatment for pediatric dental emergencies, parents risk their child’s overall oral health.
Emergency pediatric dental services are available at Dr. David Suttie Dentistry for Children in Napa and the surrounding area. We can provide your child with the urgent care they need and the dedication they deserve. Call us today at 707-887-5072 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Understanding Pediatric Dental Emergencies
Since dental emergencies are usually due to accidents, they can happen at any time, anywhere. Thankfully, most of these issues are relatively minor, even if they have to be addressed right away. Some of the most common pediatric dental emergencies include:
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Knocked-out teeth
- Lost dental restorations
- Tissue damage
Pediatric dental emergencies are treated on a case-by-case basis, depending on their type, location, and severity. Each dental accident requires immediate examination, as many of their effects may often go unnoticed. For example, neighboring teeth may also suffer injuries that can only be detected by a dentist. Additionally, parents should remember that it is crucial to treat all pediatric dental emergencies — even ones involving the baby teeth. Losing these teeth prematurely could negatively impact the eruption of the permanent teeth.
Many things can cause a toothache: earaches, mouth sores, sinus infections, tooth eruption, and more. In any case, only a pediatric dentist can determine whether your child’s toothache is cause for concern. Telltale signs of toothaches involve mouth pain and drooling. If the affected child is old enough to answer, parents should ask them to point to the tooth that hurts.
Lost Dental Restorations
Occasionally, children lose their dental fillings or crowns. If this happens, it is imperative to remove it from the mouth immediately. Otherwise, the child may swallow or breathe it in accidentally. Call and make an appointment with us as soon as possible, using a temporary material to replace the lost restoration. Take extra care to keep the area clean. If necessary, use baby aspirin or clove oil to dull any pain or sensitivity. Limit your child’s diet to bland, easy-to-eat foods until they can see the dentist.
The mouth is made of delicate and sensitive soft tissues, such as the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips. Any injury to these soft tissues can be painful. Tissue damage is characterized by persistent, throbbing pain. If it starts bleeding, it may mix with saliva, making the injury look worse. However, the bleeding typically stops after a few minutes.
Parents should instruct their child to rinse their mouth thoroughly with a mild saltwater solution and, if the bleeding persists, compress the affected area with a damp piece of gauze for 10 to 15 minutes. Holding ice to the site for five to 10 minutes can also help relieve pain, slow bleeding, and reduce swelling.
Cracked teeth often occur due to tooth grinding, chewing on too-hard foods, fillings that are too large, facial trauma, and sudden changes in temperature in the mouth. Left untreated, it can easily cause tooth loss. Though not every cracked tooth will produce symptoms, some of the most common include intermittent pain, swelling of the surrounding gum, sensitivity to temperature or sweetness, and pain when chewing or biting.
Chipped or Broken Teeth
Teeth can chip or break due to crunching on too-hard foods or facial trauma. Any chips or cracks in the teeth can open the door to potential infection, which could result in tooth loss. As such, parents should schedule an appointment with us immediately.
If the affected child is experiencing pain, taking acetaminophen or another over-the-counter painkiller can help. Rinsing the mouth with a mild saltwater solution can also ease discomfort. If the break has a sharp, jagged edge, parents should help their child by covering it with a piece of wax paraffin or sugarless chewing gum. This will prevent it from causing any soft tissue injuries.
If possible, the child should avoid or limit eating before the dental appointment. If they must eat, they should limit their diet to soft foods and avoid biting down on the affected tooth.
Knocked Out Teeth
Parents must act quickly if their child has knocked out one of their teeth — whether it is a permanent or baby tooth. Find the tooth, picking it up by the crown. Do not touch the root. Gently rinse off any dirt with only water, no soap or chemicals. If it was a permanent tooth, parents should try to reinsert the tooth gently back in the socket. Do not try to reinsert a baby tooth. Keep the tooth moist at all times, either by putting it in milk or an emergency tooth preservation kit. See a dentist as soon as possible.
Call Us Today
It can be distressing to see your child dealing with a dental emergency. We at Dr. David Suttie Dentistry for Children can help. Call us today at 707-887-5072 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I help my child deal with a toothache?
If you have any, wear medical gloves. Help your child rinse their mouth with warm water, and use dental floss to remove any debris between the teeth, as this could be the source of the pain. Examine your child’s mouth for any swelling or “pimples” around the affected tooth, as this can be a sign of a dental abscess. Check to see whether the tooth is loose. By reporting these results back to our office, you can help expedite your child’s treatment process.
Are there any early signs of a loose filling?
Yes. Often, the affected tooth may become overly sensitive to heat and cold when the filling is becoming loose. There may also be slight pain or discomfort radiating from the tooth. Educating your child about these signs can help them better identify problems before they appear.
What are the treatment options for a cracked tooth?
Treatment for a cracked tooth varies on a case-by-case basis. Dr. Suttie will consider the size of the crack, where it occurred, your child’s symptoms, and whether the crack extends into the gum line. Standard treatment options include bonding and crowns, while more severe cases may require a root canal treatment. Tooth extraction will be reserved as a last resort.
Why does a broken tooth need to be kept moist?
Letting a tooth dry out reduces its chances of reattaching. Furthermore, it is crucial to keep the broken tooth in milk or an emergency tooth preservation solution instead of water. These prevent the tooth from demineralizing. Root surface cells cannot tolerate regular tap water for extended periods.
What if my child’s permanent tooth cannot be reattached?
Dr. Suttie can help restore your child’s tooth with an implant or bridge. An implant is a titanium post inserted into the jawbone, fusing with the bone over a period of approximately three months. This allows it to function like a natural tooth. A bridge is one or more false teeth that attach to the surrounding natural teeth.
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