Let’s Talk Dental Emergencies  with Dr. Annalee Fencl of Northeast Iowa Pediatric Dentistry

So you’re playing with your kiddos at Phelps Park 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 (563) 382-6259. 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 permanent 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 root. If it has been on the ground, gently rinse it off, and do not scrape or scrub. Keep it in a glass of milk until you arrive at the dentist. Keeping the tooth wet is very important for reimplantation. Unfortunately if a baby tooth is knocked out, it is best to leave the tooth out. Trying to replant a baby tooth has the potential to damage the permanent one.

Dental Intrusion (tooth pushed into jawbone)

Sometimes instead of a tooth being knocked out, it can be pushed into the jaw. In many cases, we will just wait for the tooth to descend naturally. In some cases, however, we will need to help reposition the tooth and place a splint until the bone and gum tissue have a chance to heal. These teeth will often require root canal therapy depending on your child’s age and the tooth’s stage of development.

Tooth Displacement

If your child has an injury and you notice that their tooth is crooked or slightly mobile, they likely have a tooth displacement or “luxation” injury. The severity of displacement often dictates the tooth prognosis. It’s best to call your dentist to discuss the situation and the appropriate course of action. Like intrusions, these teeth can require root canal therapy depending on your kid’s age, the tooth’s stage of development, and severity of injury.

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. Depending on the size of the fracture, treatment ranges from smoothing a sharp edge, placing a white filling, or re-bonding the broken fragment. If a significant portion of the tooth is fractured, there is the potential to exposure the “nerve” of the tooth, which can require a root canal-like procedure. Because of this, it’s very important to come into the office for evaluation.

In summary: dental traumas can be very complicated! It is best to call our office and to check on the appropriate course of action should a tooth trauma occur!


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