Let’s Talk Dental Emergencies with Dr. Krista Kunz of Magnolia Pediatric Dentistry in Mt. Pleasant, SC

So you’re playing with your kiddos at Park West Playground and BOOM! They fall face first and there’s blood. First, rule out that an emergency room visit isn’t needed and that the oops has only impacted their teeth. Keep calm, assess the situation, and call us at (843) 996-6796. Here is some information on the most common types of dental injuries and how they’re handled.

Knocked Out Tooth

If your kiddo has completely knocked out a tooth, it’s important to get to a dentist as soon as possible. The sooner we can see your child, the better the chances of a full recovery. Do your best to retrieve the tooth by touching it by the crown only, not the roots. If it has been on the ground, gently rinse it off, and do not scrape or scrub. If your child is old enough, have them put the tooth in their cheek. If they’re too young to keep in in their cheek safely, keep it in a glass of milk until you arrive at the dentist. Keeping the tooth wet is very important for reimplantation.

Dental Intrusion (tooth pushed into jawbone)

Sometimes instead of a tooth being knocked out, it can be pushed into the jaw. You’ll need to call us immediately. In many cases, we will just wait for the tooth to descend naturally. In some cases, however, the tooth socket can fracture and we will need to perform root canal therapy to help preserve the structure of the tooth. If you think your child’s tooth has been pushed into the jawbone, rinse your child’s mouth with cold water. Then use ice packs and a pediatrician-approved pain reliever to reduce swelling.

Tooth Displacement

If your child has an injury and you notice that their tooth is crooked, they likely have a tooth displacement. A displaced tooth is still in the socket and usually has the pulp still intact. However, there could be a fracture in the jawbone, so it’s best to call Dr. Kunz to chat with us about the injury. In young children with baby teeth, the teeth usually heal themselves. If it happens to a permanent tooth, though, it’s important to visit immediately to avoid infection and make sure the tooth isn’t at risk of being permanently damaged.

Broken Tooth

The crown is the biggest and most visible part of the tooth. Because of this, it’s the most likely to experience an injury. If your kiddo experiences a broken tooth, come to the office so that we can assess how serious the damage is. We’ll take an xray, then decide whether to simply apply a dental sealant or if more treatment is necessary. Even if you don’t think the chip or break has gone deeper than the enamel, it can still irritate and cause infection in the surrounding dental tissue, so it’s important to come into the office.

Dr. Kunz is available to treat her patients’ dental emergencies so don’t hesitate to call at (843) 996-6796.

  • Emily McMurtry
    Posted at 23:38h, 06 March Reply

    Oh wow. That is some pretty intense information. I’m glad to know it.
    I was wondering if this advice applies to adults as well or if it is only for kiddos?

    • Krista Kunz
      Posted at 07:25h, 07 March Reply

      While this advice is not universal to every situation, the same advice applies to adults. You need to stay calm, assess the situation to determine if emergency medical attention is needed (and address this first), and then contact your dentist. Once your dentist does an exam and gets some x-rays, they can then make a diagnosis and administer the appropriate treatment.

      The biggest difference between how you would handle an emergency with baby teeth versus adult teeth is with an avulsion (where the tooth, including the root, is completely out of the mouth). If it is a baby tooth, DO NOT attempt to reimplant it. Please bring it to us and keep it moist in saliva or milk. If it is a permanent tooth, hold the tooth by the crown, gently rinse of the root but do not touch it, and place it back in the mouth. And then call and us and come see us right away. Timing is of the essence in these cases.

      Please remember that we take emergency calls for our patients any time, any day. 843-996-6796

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