Dental Trauma Basics

Injuries to the face and mouth are more common than you think. We often take calls from concerned parents regarding falls, bike or skateboard accidents and sporting injuries that result in broken or dislodged teeth. Needless to say, these wounds can be quite distressing both for the child and his or her parents.

First and foremost, we always encourage parents to ensure that their child is stable. If the injury was significant, please have your child assessed by a physician to rule out concussion or more serious head trauma. Things to consider:

– Did your child lose consciousness or blackout?

– Does your child feel nauseous? Did your child vomit at the time of the accident?

– Is there large bruising on the face or around the eyes?

– Is your child acting strangely?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, it is best to seek emergency care at the local hospital, and this may include an ambulance ride. On rare occasions, parents have brought their child to the dental office when the first stop should have been the emergency room. We always say – fix heads before teeth.

What does dental trauma look like?

  1. Soft tissue injury or lacerations
  2. Tooth is pushed in
  3. Tooth is pushed sideways
  4. Tooth is completely knocked out
  5. Tooth is chipped
  6. Tooth is broken in half into the pulp – see pink

Soft tissue injuries, especially lacerations, should be attended to ASAP. Also, please ensure that your child’s tetanus vaccination is up-to-date, particularly if the accident happened in a dirty space (e.g., gravel pit, playground).

The main concern with primary tooth trauma is the ultimate effect that it will have on the permanent teeth still developing in the bone. If a primary tooth is knocked out, please do not put it back in the mouth. Replacing the tooth can cause damage to the underlying permanent teeth. For all other primary tooth injuries, seek dental care ASAP.

If a permanent tooth is knocked out, the most important factor is dry-time. Once again, always ensure that your child is stable. The best place for the permanent tooth is actually back in the socket; nevertheless, replacing the tooth can be quite stressful for parents, which is why most will store the tooth in milk until their child can see a dentist. For all other permanent tooth injuries, seek dental care ASAP.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any questions or concerns, or to book your child an emergency appointment. Dr. Perusini and the staff at Avenue PD are here to help, and will ensure that your child receives timely and appropriate care.

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