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Emergencies


If your child faces a dental emergency, give us a call immediately. Murray Hill Amberglen. If you need urgent treatment after hours, you can call our emergency number. We are always here to assist when your child's dental health is at risk. Below are tips on dealing with urgent dental situations. You may want to display this list on your refrigerator or store it near your emergency phone numbers for easy reference.

Bitten Lip or Tongue

If your child has a bitten lip or tongue severe enough to cause bleeding, 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.

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Problems with Braces or Retainers

If a wire is causing irritation, cover the end with a small cotton ball, beeswax or a piece of gauze until you can come to our office. If a wire gets stuck in the cheek, tongue or gum tissue, do not attempt to remove it. Contact our office. If an appliance becomes loose or a piece of it breaks off, collect the broken appliance or piece and contact our office immediately.

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Broken, Chipped, Fractured or Displaced Tooth

If your child loses a tooth from an injury, try to remain calm. Call our office immediately and we will help you to determine if it is a permanent or primary tooth. If it is a permanent tooth, avoid touching the root in any way. If it is a permanent tooth, gently rinse the tooth under running water, but avoid rubbing the root area. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. (Your child can keep it in place until treatment by biting down on a wet piece of clean gauze.) If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk, saline solution, or saliva, and take your child and the glass immediately to our office, or an emergency medical treatment facility.

For a broken tooth, rinse your child's mouth out with warm water to clean out any debris or foreign matter. Use a cold compress on the child's cheek or gum near the affected area to keep any swelling down. Call our office immediately.

Minor fractures may be smoothed with a sandpaper disc or simply left alone. Another option is to restore the tooth with a composite restoration. In either case, treat the tooth with care for several days. Keep your child on a soft diet that avoids use of the broken tooth.

Moderate fractures include damage to the enamel, dentin (the bony hard portion of the tooth), and/or pulp (the nerve and blood vessels within the tooth). If the pulp is involved, the tooth may need a nerve treatment, including the possibility of a root canal in order to save it. The tooth may be restored with a composite filling or a permanent crown. If damage to the pulp does occur, further dental treatment will be required.

Severe fractures often mean a traumatized tooth with slim chance of recovery.

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Trapped Debris

If your child has something caught between his or her teeth, use dental floss to gently remove it. 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.

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Knocked-Out Tooth

If your child's tooth has been knocked out, first determine if the tooth is permanent or primary. If you are certain that it is permanent rinse the tooth with water (no soap), taking care to only touch the crown of the tooth (the part you can see when it's in place). Reinsert the tooth into the socket. Call us immediately and/or head to the hospital. If you act quickly it's possible to save the tooth.

If you are uncertain if the tooth is permanent or primary, rinse the tooth with water (no soap), taking care to only touch the crown of the tooth (the part you can see when it's in place). Place the tooth in a clean container with milk or the child’s saliva. Call us immediately and/or head to the hospital. If you act quickly it's possible to save the tooth.

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Loose Tooth

If your child has a very loose tooth, it should be removed to avoid being swallowed or inhaled.

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Toothache

If your child complains of a toothache, rinse his or her mouth with warm water and inspect the teeth to be sure there is nothing caught between them. If pain continues, use a cold compress to ease the pain. Do not apply heat or any kind of aspirin or topical pain reliever directly to the affected area, as this can cause damage to the gums. Children's pain relievers may be taken orally. Schedule an appointment immediately.

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Broken Jaw

If you know or suspect your child has sustained a broken jaw, use a cold compress to reduce swelling. Call our emergency number and/or head to the hospital immediately. In many cases a broken jaw is the result of a blow to the head. Severe blows to the head can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

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Avoiding Injury

You can help your child avoid dental emergencies. Child-proof your house to avoid falls. Don't let your child chew on ice, popcorn kernels, or other hard foods. Always use car seats for young children and require seatbelts for older children. And if your child plays contact sports, have him or her wear a mouthguard. Ask us about creating a custom-fitted mouthguard for your child. Finally, prevent toothaches with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to our office.

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