Each of our patients are a part of the Dentistry for Children family, and we care deeply that they are comfortable and free of pain. If your child is experiencing any sort of dental emergency, please call your office immediately so that we can work with you to bring relief. However, if you suspect the issue is of a more extreme or urgent medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1 or take your child directly to an emergency care center.
Emergencies during business hours
During business hours, we have staff willing to respond to all questions and concerns, and we are happy to get your child seen by a dentist as soon as possible. Call your local office for immediate assistance:
Emergencies after business hours
We fully understand that an accident affecting oral health can occur at ANY time, so if something happens after our business hours, you can always reach the Dental Emergency Hotline at 1-855-266-7243 (toll free), then when prompted press “dentist” or “3368478”.
Our emergency process is the same 24/7, 365 days a year. We are here for you—please don’t hesitate to reach out any time you need us!
Tips for Urgent Dental Situations
- Bitten cheek, lip, or tongue. If your child has a bitten lip, cheek, or tongue, clean the bite gently with water and use a cold compress (a cold, wet towel or washcloth pressed firmly against the area) to reduce or avoid swelling. Give us a call to help determine how serious the bite is
- Object caught in teeth. If your child has something caught between their teeth, first, try to remove the object by using dental floss. Never use a metal, plastic, or sharp tool to remove a stuck object. If you are unable to remove the item with dental floss, give us a call.
- Knocked-out tooth. When a tooth or teeth have been knocked out, it is important to keep and preserve each tooth and get your child to the dentist as soon as possible. To preserve the tooth, it must be kept moist. If dirty, gently rinse with warm water, but leave any tissue fragments in place. Then, if at all possible, try to insert the tooth back into the socket very carefully. If you are unable to do this, preserve the tooth by placing it in a Tooth Preservation Kit (coaches at sporting events sometimes have these available). If neither are possible, place the tooth in the mouth next to the cheek, or place in milk/water with a bit of salt. After preserving the tooth, visit one of our dental offices as soon as possible, within 15-20 minutes is ideal. Good preservation of the tooth will keep it viable for up to an hour or more. If you have access to the “Tooth Preservation Kit,” the tooth will be viable for 24 hours.
- Loose tooth. A loose baby tooth is normal and expected; a loose permanent tooth is quite another matter. If your child’s tooth didn’t loosen naturally, have a dentist look at the tooth to determine the right course of action. Just because the tooth is loose doesn’t mean that the rest of the mouth is ready for a lost tooth. The permanent teeth underneath the gums might need more time to form.In some cases, the tooth might need to be removed, but this should be done in the dentist’s office instead of at home. If the tooth is removed due to damage, your child’s pediatric dentist might put in a spacer to keep the other teeth in place until the permanent tooth grows into the vacant spot.
- Cracked or broken tooth. The first step would be to locate any tooth fragments and bring them with you to your dentist. To clean the area inside the mouth, use a warm water rinse, having made sure there are no tooth fragments between the cheek and jaw. Take your child to one of our offices as soon as possible and we may be able to bond the fragment to the tooth.
- Toothache. A toothache can run the gamut from a minor irritation to a true dental emergency. First, make sure the mouth is clean and any food that may be impacted is removed by gentle brushing or flossing, then rinse with warm water. Mild pain can be treated with aspirin until you can get your child to our office.
- Broken jaw. If you suspect that your child has fractured his/her jaw, try to keep the jaw from moving by using a towel, necktie, or handkerchief to immobilize the jaw. Then, take your child to the emergency room as soon as possible. Signs of a fractured jaw include:
– Inability to open the mouth
– Sideways canting of the jaw upon opening
– Uneven teeth that appears different from before the accident
– Inability to close the teeth together properly
- A cold compress (ice wrapped in a cloth) will help keep the swelling down until you arrive.