When your child has a dental emergency, you want to be able to act fast and think clearly. Knowing what to expect from an emergency dental visit will equip you to do just that. Dental emergencies can be very stressful if you don’t know what to expect. You will need to act quickly to provide the best possible outcome for your child. Read on to learn what constitutes a dental emergency, what you, as the parent, should do, and what you can expect from an emergency pediatric dental visit.

How To Know If You Have A Dental Emergency

When your child is injured, you may ask yourself, “Is this a true dental emergency?” Many parents aren’t sure what constitutes an emergency when it comes to dental health. It can be hard to tell if a dental problem needs immediate attention or can wait. This decision can be especially stressful on weekends or after hours. A pediatric dental emergency includes situations such as severe bleeding after a dental injury, the sudden onset of intense tooth pain, abscesses, broken or displaced primary teeth, or swollen gums. Any urgent dental issue that poses an immediate threat to a child’s well-being or oral health requires prompt attention from a dentist. 

Deciding Between A Dentist And The Emergency Room

While the emergency room seems like the place to go for an emergency, emergency department doctors can not perform dental procedures, nor are dentists typically on staff. Most dental emergencies require a visit to a dentist, not the emergency room; however, if your child has a jaw injury, a severe infection, or bleeding that does not stop under light pressure, a visit to the emergency room. It should be the first course of action. 

What To Do During A Dental Emergency

Do not panic! Acting fast is important, but you must remain calm. If a tooth has been chipped or knocked loose, try to gather the loose piece and rinse it with water. Do not hold it by the root. If possible, gently place the tooth back in its socket. If that is not an option, place the tooth in milk and bring it along with you to the dentist. Even if the tooth is a baby tooth, still bring it to the dentist. 

If your child is in a lot of pain, ibuprofen can be helpful. Avoid aspirin, as it may cause extra bleeding. Have your child rinse his or her mouth out with warm water and apply a cold compress if necessary. 

What Will Happen At The Emergency Pediatric Dental Appointment?

Your child’s dentist will be able to diagnose and determine the best treatment for your child quickly. First, they will assess the severity of the situation while prioritizing and calming the child. The dentist will evaluate the nature of the issue, considering factors such as the extent of dental trauma, the level of pain, and any visible signs of infection or swelling. Diagnostic tools such as X-rays may be used to gain a deeper understanding of the dental condition. Additionally, the dentist will assess the child’s overall health and medical history to tailor the treatment plan accordingly and come up with a child-friendly course of action. 

The next step is to offer effective pain management. The dentist may administer local anesthesia to numb the affected area, ensuring a pain-free procedure. Other means of pain relief medication or gentle sedation may be used, all aimed at minimizing discomfort and fostering a positive dental experience for the child. 

Once the patient is more comfortable, the dentist will be able to perform the necessary procedures to address the specific dental emergency.  In cases of trauma or injury, the dentist may suture wounds, reposition displaced teeth, or stabilize fractures. Lastly, your child’s dentist will offer guidance on post-treatment care and schedule follow-up appointments to address any lingering issues. 

No one wants to experience dental problems, especially not when they involve your children. But, pediatric dental emergencies can happen in an instant. By being prepared and knowing what to expect, you can be sure to take calm and appropriate action. This will help your child remain as relaxed as possible and help facilitate clear communication with your child’s dental office. A dentist trained in emergency pediatric dentistry is equipped to swiftly and efficiently address dental emergencies, all the while keeping your child as comfortable as possible and ensuring prompt and effective care for your child’s unique dental needs. Whether you are facing a dental emergency or want to find a dentist for your family’s regular dental care, call us today at (717) 822-0272 or click here to schedule your appointment.

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