When an upset parent calls EK Dental Surgery because their child has knocked out (“avulsed”) a tooth, the first thing we determine is if the tooth was a permanent one or a baby tooth (temporary).
This is because the situations are handled quite differently. In either case, you should be prepared, but the dental reaction is entirely different.
In both cases, however, there is one piece of advice that we give that all parents should follow.
Children’s dental emergencies can occur from falls or during play or sports activities. The injury may be to a temporary tooth or a permanent tooth.
A tooth can be cracked, chipped, or totally avulsed from its socket. Your child may experience bleeding from the area, severe pain, or increased sensitivity when a tooth is injured.
Have EK Dental Surgery’s number close at hand.
Because knocked out teeth are always accidental, it happens when we least expect them to happen. However, a small bit of planning can make everything easier.
Put EK Dental Surgery’s phone number into your contact list, and if your children are old enough, make sure they have the number as well. In case you’ve forgotten, our number is (03) 9887 8787.
With that said, let’s look at the two categories of knocked out teeth.
Baby Teeth. A child losing a baby tooth is rarely fun, but it’s rarely as severe as when a permanent tooth is lost.
When a baby tooth is knocked out, there should still be X-rays and an exam to inspect surrounding teeth and permanent teeth that have not yet erupted, but generally, no special treatment is required.
In some cases, a spacer is needed to stop other teeth from shifting into the space that a permanent tooth will eventually occupy.
If the knocked out tooth is front and centre, and appearance is damaged, a “pedo-partial” can be placed.
It’s a kind of denture for kids, with a replacement tooth cemented into place until the permanent tooth begins to come in. A pedo-partial is usually expensive and not covered by most insurance plans.
If your child has knocked out a baby tooth, do not try to put it back into the socket because you could damage the permanent tooth waiting to erupt.
You can control bleeding with light pressure from a piece of gauze and give your child an over-the-counter pain reliever.
If bleeding continues or there is significant swelling, contact EK Dental Surgery as soon as possible.
Permanent Teeth. A knocked out permanent tooth is more serious. Here’s what to do:
- Remain collected and reassure your child that you can help. If you remain, collected, cool, and calm it will help your child deal with the trauma.
- To control bleeding, put a small piece of gauze or a teabag on the site and have the child hold it in place or gently bite down on it. The pressure applied helps subside the bleeding and prevents swelling.
- Use chilled water or an ice pop to numb the pain and reduce swelling.
- Never handle the tooth by its bottom (the root). Gently wash the tooth with milk (never use tap or scrub the tooth, can damage it). Milk has a chemical makeup that is safe for teeth.
- Attempt to place the tooth back in its socket if your child will cooperate. Gently but firmly press the tooth into the socket until it is level with adjacent teeth. Have your child gently bite down on a gauze pad on top of the tooth to keep it in place. Do this as soon as possible – the quicker a tooth is reimplanted, the higher the chance the reimplantation will be successful.
- If you cannot reimplant the tooth, immerse it in milk or hold it in your mouth, where it is protected by saliva. Do not swallow the tooth or breathe it in. Another approach is to have your child spit into a cup then hold the tooth in the saliva on the way to the dentist’s office.
- Contact your EK Dental Surgery dentist immediatelyfor care and reimplantation. We are experts in treating emergencies and children, and we always have time for dental emergencies.
- If an injury to other teeth or the mouth is suspected, X-rays of the area may be necessary. Your EK Dental Surgery dentist will take care of this, as well as recommend any additional dental treatment that might be needed.
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be taken for discomfort. This is on a case-by-case basis.
Preventing Knocked Out Tooth
The best way to treat a knocked out tooth is to avoid it. Here are our suggestions:
- Teach your child it is unsafe to run or walk with objects in their mouth.
- Teach your child it is unsafe to suck or chew on sharp, hard, or pointed objects.
- Provide your child with an athletic mouthguard for impact sports or athletics. At EK Dental Surgery, we can make customised mouthguards for your child.
Mouthguards are protective equipment necessary for protecting your teeth and mouth against trauma during contact sports and other recreational activities.
Aside from protecting your mouth, a mouthguard also cushion blows to the mouth or jaw, thereby preventing damage to the jaw or neck.
Accidents can happen anytime, and wearing mouthguards during sports significantly decreases your risk of experiencing dental trauma.
Reasons To Smile At EK Dental Surgery!
EK Dental Surgery offers a broad variety of preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dental procedures for patients from infants to seniors!
We are dentists and staff who give the best care available. At EK Dental Surgery, we can help you achieve tip-top dental health and a stunning smile!
EK Dental Surgery is conveniently located on Springvale Road in Glen Waverley.
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If your child experiences any dental emergency, call us immediately for prompt dental attention. Call us at (03) 9887 8787 or schedule an appointment online. We are located at 230 Springvale Road in Glen Waverley.