By Dr. Andy Johnson, Southpark Pediatric Dentistry
Dental trauma is likely to happen at some point in a child’s life. With all of the sports and activities that involve any combination of running, tackling, and hard surfaces, there are many opportunities to have a “tooth” emergency. Ideally, it is best to prevent, but what should you do if it happens to your child?
As a Pediatric Dentist, I see dental trauma all too often. As a Dad it is something I have experienced at home with my own child. A few weeks ago on a sunny Sunday afternoon, my 4-year old daughter fell over her tricycle handle bars onto the cement. Both front teeth were “dangling” in front of me. Fortunately, I was trained to handle this situation appropriately. However, most parents have not had any exposure to this kind of accident and would need assistance from a dentist.
There are a few things parents should be aware of that can greatly improve the outcome of the accident:
• If a PERMANENT tooth is knocked out, gently rinse, but do not scrub the tooth under water. If tooth appears clean, re-implant into socket to the best of your ability.
• If this is impossible, place the tooth in a glass of milk or a clean wet cloth and contact your dentist immediately.
• If the tooth is fractured, please bring in any pieces you can find.
• DO NOT REIMPLANT PRIMARY (BABY) TEETH, but DO bring them to the dentist if possible.
• The first thirty minutes after an accident are the most critical to treatment of dental trauma.
Pediatric Dentists spend a significant portion of their residency handling dental trauma and should be the first place you look for assistance. If your dentist is not available, it is best to go to the emergency room. Oftentimes, they will have an “on call” dentist that can assist.
Please feel free to contact our office in case of emergencies; we have a pager that is used after regular business hours:
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