Emergency Dental Care When A Child’s Tooth Is Knocked Loose

The need for emergency dental service is more common with children than with teenagers or adults. That's mainly because of the type of playground roughhousing they might indulge in, along with their relative lack of coordination compared with older individuals.

If a primary tooth is knocked loose or damaged, emergency dental treatment likely will likely involve carefully removing it and making sure the other teeth are OK. More extensive treatment is necessary when a permanent tooth has been affected.

Being Prepared

It's a good idea for parents to learn effective strategies for saving a child's tooth that has been knocked loose before this ever occurs. That way, they'll be prepared if this unwanted event happens. A loose tooth can be held with the roots in the socket until emergency dental care is provided. A dislodged tooth should promptly be placed in enough milk to completely cover it.

Emergency Treatment

In these cases, it may be possible for a dentist to save the tooth if the family reaches the clinic within an hour or two. The dentist positions the tooth and uses a splint to stabilize it. The splint must be worn until the gum tissue heals. That can take several weeks.

Endodontic Therapy

The child will almost certainly need endodontic therapy after healing is complete. This treatment is often referred to as a root canal. When a tooth is struck that hard, permanent nerve damage nearly always results. This will become evident when the enamel begins to darken.

The dentist removes the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. This is done through the back of the tooth. Afterward, the dentist fills the space and seals the back. Sedation is generally recommended for endodontic therapy in addition to local anesthesia.

Future Cosmetic Service

Since there is permanent discoloration, this is a cosmetic issue if the tooth is in front. The parents may want to talk with the dentist about the possibility of placing a veneer or a crown on the tooth. Both require shaving away part of the enamel so the device fits without jutting out noticeably. 

Concluding Thoughts

These types of incidents are upsetting for the child and parents. Emergency dental services are available so the youngster can receive prompt treatment that could save the tooth. Aftercare involves allowing the mouth to heal and endodontic therapy to remove the damaged nerve tissue. The dentist provides compassionate care during a time when the youngster is hurting physically and perhaps feels distraught as well.