Emergency Dentistry Children Granada Hills – Northridge – Porter Ranch
In the event of a dental emergency, always bring your child to see us as soon as possible. Left untreated, dental emergencies, including toothaches, chipped or broken teeth or a lost crown or filling, can increase the risk of infection, increased pain and more extensive – and expensive – dental care down the road. Some children with dental infection even have very expensive hospital bills when they are admitted for intravenous antibiotics! In any emergency dental situation, we will fit your child into our schedule as soon as possible.
What constitutes a dental emergency?
Common dental emergencies include:
- Persistent toothache, which may be a sign of damage or infection
- Facial swelling and redness related to a tooth with a cavity
- Tooth damage, including chips or breaks, which may cause pain or risk infection
- Loose or missing permanent teeth
- A lost crown or filling
- Tooth infection which looks like a pimple in the gum near a tooth
- Soft-tissue injuries, including those to the gums, cheeks, tongue, or lips
- Objects jammed between teeth
When is a mere toothache a serious problem?
Sometimes a toothache is temporary. However, if pain happens in the middle of the night, persists for several hours or days or increases in severity, it could be a sign of severe damage or infection. If your child is complaining about a persistent toothache, don’t brush the situation off or delay getting your child the care he or she needs. Contact our office at earliest possible opportunity so we can identify and address the source of your child’s pain. If the source of the toothache is left untreated, the affected tooth, surrounding teeth and gums, and even other parts of the body can be at higher risk of infection, so it is essential act promptly when your child complains of a toothache.
To relieve symptoms while you await your dentist appointment, have your child rinse his or her mouth with warm salt water. A cold compress may also be used on the outer cheek to reduce swelling and pain. You may also give your child the recommended
dose of children’s ibuprofen or similar approved pain medication.
When is a damaged tooth a dental emergency?
Any time a tooth is damaged, it should be treated right away, but some chips and breaks are more serious than others. A broken tooth does more than change the appearance of your child’s smile. Chipped and damaged teeth can break further, become infected, and cause significant pain. Even if it is a baby tooth, rather than a permanent tooth that is damaged, you must act quickly. Contact your dentist immediately so he or she can seal out bacteria and correct the problem before bacteria is allowed to fester. If only part of the tooth breaks off, try to save the broken piece, as it can sometimes be reattached in the office.
Here are some ways to relieve your child’s pain until you get to our office:
- Use a cold compress on the outer cheek to reduce swelling and numb pain
- Use the recommended dose of children’s ibuprofen or other pain reliever
- Apply pressure to the bleeding site with a clean cloth or gauze
What to do if a child’s permanent tooth is loose or knocked out:
If your child has a loose, dislodged, or knocked-out permanent tooth, call our office at (818) 360-2131 or call our emergency pager (818) 474-3092 as soon as possible. Research has shown the most important thing to do is to place the tooth back in its socket as soon as possible! We will walk you through the process of doing this. First, we must figure out if the tooth is a permanent tooth or a baby tooth. Only permanent teeth should be put back into the socket. Baby teeth are left out if they have been knocked out. Calmly locate the tooth and pick it up by the crown side – the part of the tooth that is typically exposed above the gum line. Be careful not to touch the root side of the tooth, as it can cause damage to the root.
If the tooth is free or dirt or damage, attempt to reinsert it into the empty socket in your child’s mouth. If it can be reinserted, instruct your child to hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean strip of gauze or cloth, and come into the office as soon as possible. If the tooth is dirty or broken, rinse the tooth under running water for 10 minutes and then place the tooth milk or a specialized product which contains a cell growth medium. A mix of water with a pinch of salt may also be used.
A tooth that has only been out of its socket for an hour or less has a much better chance of being reinserted into its natural location, so it is important to contact us immediately, and we will fit your child in as soon as possible.
What to do if my child has suffered from a soft-tissue injury (cut tongue, cheek, or lip)?
If there is any bleeding in your child’s mouth, apply direct pressure with a clean cloth or material on the site of the wound. Reduce swelling by using a cold compress such as an ice pack on or around the injured site. Use the recommended dose of nonprescription pain reliever (such as ibuprofen) for children to reduce pain until your child can get professional dental or medical attention.
If your child is experiencing any of the dental emergencies listed above, contact our office immediately at (818) 360-2131 and we will fit your child in as soon as possible.