Dentist, Dr Sarah Nackasha, offers parents guidance when a young child is in need of urgent dental care.
Anyone with children will be all too aware of the ongoing likelihood of accidents at any time and falls, scrapes, collision etc are all part of one of the more worrying aspects of parenthood.
Most of us will probably already have marvelled at how resistant children can be when they fall or collide with an obstacle. Unfortunately, this won’t always be the case and there may be occasions when injuries are a little more serious than a grazed knee.
As children often fall, or bang their mouths against tables or floors etc, there is an ever present risk of damage to their young teeth. In today’s blog, we will take a look at what to do when a dental emergency strikes for a young child.
The first thing to do if a child comes to you, probably crying, with an obvious dental injury is to try to stay calm. This will not only help to reassure the child but will enable you to make a quick decision as to the next step to take. One serious issue that must be decided is whether the collision may have also caused a head injury. If you didn’t see the accident and are unable to get sufficient information from them, you may wish to pay a visit to the local A&E just to be on the safe side.
Once you have been there, or if you were able to clarify that there wasn’t the need, the next step is to call The Dental Centre Bedford for an emergency appointment. Do make sure to explain the nature of the situation to the receptionist. They will do everything that they can to make sure that your child is seen at the first opportunity available.
In younger children, it is quite possible that it might be a first tooth that has been damaged or even knocked out. Even if the child is not in any significant pain, do make sure to see the dentist as soon as you can. Whist you would be correct in thinking that a second tooth will eventually erupt anyway, it is important to remember that their first teeth act as a placeholder, ensuring that the adult teeth come through evenly. The loss of teeth too early on in the process may also lead to a speech impediment.
Even where a first tooth has been damaged or lost, it is important that the dentist examines the child to determine what course of action to take.
If a tooth has been knocked out, with the root still intact, it may be possible to replace it. If the child is old enough, encourage them to keep it in the cheek of their mouth until they can be seen by the dentist. If the child is not old enough or you are worried they might swallow it, put it into a small jar containing milk. Make sure, when you pick it up, to touch only the crown part of the tooth with your fingers, and not the root.
If the lost tooth has been damaged too much to replace it, we will discuss the available options for a tooth replacement with you. Whilst we firmly believe that dental implants are the best option for adults, these are not suitable for children due to the fact that their faces are still developing.
Waiting to see the dentist
Although we will do all that we can to enable you to see the emergency children’s dentist at our Bedford practice as soon as possible, there is still likely to be a short wait. As time seems to pass slowly when we are in discomfort, you may wish to use a pain killing medication that is appropriate for a child. This will help to keep them as comfortable as possible until they can be seen. Try also to keep them occupied in something that will help them to take their mind of it too. Make sure that this is not an activity likely to exacerbate the problem though.
Remember that it doesn’t even have to be damage caused by an accident in order for an emergency appointment to be made. Any dental problem that is causing significant pain or discomfort, or where a tooth has broken suddenly should be considered as an emergency. Our experienced receptionists will be able to advise what you should do, and how quickly you can be expected to be seen, when you call us.
Whether an adult or a child, we always do our best to see anyone who needs to receive prompt dental treatment. If you would like to make an emergency dental appointment at The Dental Centre Bedford, please call us on 01234 819868.