Dental Emergencies in Palos Heights

Pediatric Dental Trauma

When your child experiences an injury, it can be traumatic for both you and your child. Because of the nature of childhood, dental trauma is common for kids of all ages.

Trauma occurs frequently because of sports, falls, or because of an object placed inside the mouth. Injuries while playing on the playground, at the park, and at birthday parties can take you off guard.

At Palos Pediatric Dentistry, we want you to know we are available to help if your child experiences a dental injury. Dr. Richard Facko understands that the efficient and effective treatment of your child’s dental emergency may help to save a tooth and prevent future dental complications.

Dr. Facko also understands that emergency situations are usually fraught with fear and anxiety, and he is experienced in treating your child and communicating with you about your child’s dental health during such a situation.

To learn more, read through the headlines below: 

kids brushing their teeth | Palos Heights ILWhen You Should Call Our Dental Office

If your child has a serious injury, call 911 or take them to the nearest emergency room. Signs of serious injury include:

  • Serious bleeding that doesn’t slow or stop when pressure is applied
  • Partial or complete loss of consciousness
  • Feelings of nausea or disorientation
  • Blurry vision or slurring while speaking
  • Large gashes or cuts 
  • An object lodged inside his or her mouth

We realize that it is sometimes hard to know when it is appropriate for you to call our office. If your child is experiencing any of the below issues, you should probably give us a call:

  • Experiences tooth pain or tenderness or feels sensitivity to cold or hot
  • Has pain in their jaw or a clicking jaw
  • Feels that their jaw is locked, whether it is closed or open
  • Has a missing a tooth or has damaged his or her tooth
  • Has a wound in his or her mouth
  • Has a tooth that is cracked or displaced
  • Has a tooth that has turned dark in color

If you are not sure whether your child is having a dental emergency that needs to be cared for immediately, call our office and we will help you determine if your child needs to visit us. We are here to help you and your child through any dental emergency situation you may experience.

Common Emergency Dental Treatments

As mentioned above, pediatric dental emergencies often include trauma. Therefore, emergency treatments for children generally include repairing damaged or missing teeth or repairing a wound in the mouth. 

If your child is experiencing severe toothache or jaw issues, it may be considered an emergency as well.

Common emergency dental treatments include:

  • Repair or re-implantation of a missing tooth
  • Repair of a cracked tooth
  • Care of a wound or wounds inside the mouth
  • Treatment of a dental infection
  • Resetting a displaced tooth

Preventing Pediatric Dental Emergencies in Your Home

To help prevent pediatric dental emergencies, you can try to child-proof your home with products like baby gates. You can place baby gates at the tops and bottoms of stairs in your home to help prevent falls that could cause a dental injury. 

Also, don’t allow your child to chew on hard objects. Even chewing on ice can potentially damage your child’s teeth. Other objects, like popcorn kernels, can also be damaging. 

Finally, help your child maintain his or her oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing will help prevent cavities and severe toothaches from developing.

Sports Guards in Palos Heights, IL

If your child plays physical sports, such as baseball, football, or hockey, they could have a dental emergency due to contact during a game or practice. To help protect your child’s teeth during physical sports and games, make sure they always wear a well-fitted sports guard in their mouth. 

Sports guards are custom-made plastic protectors that cover your child’s upper teeth, helping to defend them against flying balls, swinging bats, the ground, and other kids. Make sure your child is wearing the sports guard throughout the game and that they are wearing it correctly. 

Because kids' teeth can change quickly, the fit of the sports guard should be checked regularly to make sure you are still getting the correct fit.

Handling a Knocked-Out Toothemergency dental care | child with dentist | palos heights il dentist

If your child experiences trauma that causes a lost or “knocked out” tooth, the first thing you should do is find the tooth, if possible, and check to see if it is a permanent tooth or a baby tooth. If the tooth is one of your child’s permanent teeth, we will try to save the tooth. 

Once you have found the tooth, rinse it with clean water and try to help your child put the tooth back in place and hold it there, if that is a possibility. If not, keep it moist until your appointment. 

After that, you should call us immediately for assistance. As long as the tooth is in good shape, we can attempt to re-implant your child’s tooth in its place. It is important that we try to re-implant the tooth if that is at all possible.

If the tooth your child loses is a baby tooth, we will not re-implant it, so it is best to allow your child to leave that tooth under the pillow for the tooth fairy. However, you will still need to bring your child in for a dental exam to be sure there is no damage and that no tooth fragments remain in your child’s mouth.

If you are unsure whether the tooth is a permanent tooth or a baby tooth, feel free to call us for assistance.

Tooth Displacement

If your child experiences trauma due to a fall or physical force, it is possible for a tooth to be displaced. A displaced tooth is pushed out of place but does not come out of the mouth or socket. The tooth could be displaced sideways, forward, or backward.

If your child experiences tooth displacement, have them rinse their mouth out with water and use ice packs to control any areas of swelling. Then call our office for further assistance.

Once in our office, the dentist will examine the tooth to make sure the pulp is not damaged. If the root is healthy and undamaged, the tooth will be repositioned by the dentist. If it is not too far out of place, it may be possible for the dentist to gently push the tooth back into its correct spot.  

When the tooth is back in its original position, it may need to be splinted in place while it heals. If the root was damaged due to the injury, your child may need a root canal.

Group of smiling teens | Palos HeightsTooth Fracture

Tooth fractures are not uncommon in children. The treatment of the tooth fracture will depend on the severity of the crack in the tooth. 

If your child fractures a tooth, whether it is in a fall or due to biting down on something hard, we will examine your child’s tooth in our office, using x-rays or other methods to verify the full extent of the damage before proceeding with treatment

If your child has fractured his or her tooth and you are unsure how severe the fracture is, feel free to call our office for help. 

Call Our Palos Heights Office if Your Child Experiences Dental Trauma

If you have questions or concerns about a dental injury your child has experienced, please call our office as soon as possible. Your little one’s comfort and health are our number one priority. Dr. Facko will answer your questions and let you know if an office visit is necessary.  

If an office visit is needed, we will make the appointment as comfortable and free of anxiety as possible for both you and your child. We are here to help you through your dental emergencies.