Pediatric Dentistry |3 min read

Dental Emergencies

While our office remains temporarily closed following the COVID-19 recommendations from Governor Lee, I want you to know we are still here for you and we ARE treating dental emergencies your children have during this time.

I have included the handout that I give to all of our new patients for the most common pediatric dental emergencies. This is good to keep on hand in case something comes up. Feel free to share it with anyone you think would benefit from it.

Emergency Handout

We are here for you!

Most parents want reassurance during this time that they are doing the right thing for their child and I understand that. Usually we are able to talk you through the situation and provide temporary solutions to keep your child comfortable until we can provide definitive treatment. Myself or one of my dental assistants are happy to talk you through any situation and we encourage you to text or email pictures because those are very helpful for us to be able to give you the best advice. I am going to include my cell phone number here (615-763-3502) because I do not want any parent to worry that they will not be able to get the answers or the treatment their child needs.

What is a “true dental emergency?”

Most dental situations can be temporarily handled with a “band-aid” until dental offices are back up and running and fully operational. There are however, several situations that are true emergencies and require treatment asap. Below is a list of true dental emergencies.

1. Avulsed or Knocked out permanent tooth

This is one of the most urgent emergencies and requires IMMEDIATE treatment. For the best long term prognosis you want to have the tooth re-implanted within 1 hour!!!

2. Pain

For tooth related pain, until treatment is available, over the counter children’s ibuprofen is the best thing to start with. Dental pain in children is most often due to a tooth erupting or a large cavity and ibuprofen will help with both of those. For large cavities, make sure you help your child brush and floss and keep the area clean. When food gets stuck in a decayed tooth that is typically what causes pain. This will also give you an opportunity to check the area for any swelling or a pimple on their gums. If you do see swelling, redness, or a pimple on the gums those are indications that the tooth may be abscessed and you want to give us a call and preferably send a picture. Avoid giving your child sweets and sugary foods because those tend to be uncomfortable to eat with large cavities.

Pain becomes an emergency when it can NOT be handled with over the counter Tylenol or Ibuprofen, if it is keeping your child up at night or if it is interfering with their ability to eat.

3. Dental Abscess and/or Facial Swelling

A dental abscess or facial swelling are emergencies that require immediate attention. If you suspect your child has an abscessed tooth please contact us.

4. Broken Tooth

If a tooth breaks and the nerve is exposed this is considered an emergency, otherwise while the tooth might be rough or sensitive it will not cause any long term complications to manage the discomfort with Ibuprofen and telling your child to avoiding eating in that area.

If you aren’t sure what to do or you are unsure if something is a true emergency please reach out to us. We are here for you and happy to help!

Stay safe and healthy!

Dr. Brittany


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