Dental injuries are a very common occurrence. Here are some that happen the most frequently:
A toddler falls and hits his face on the floor or another object
In this situation, there is often a lot of bleeding in the mouth, which can be frightening.
Keep in mind that blood mixes with saliva in the mouth and it usually looks worse than it actually is. The “Labial Frenum”, which is the piece of gum tissue in the fold of the upper lip above the 2 central incisors, often tears in a bad fall. Usually this does not require stitches, but in bad cases they may be required. Apply pressure with a tissue or a gauze to stop the bleeding at home.
A baby tooth may have been knocked out of the normal position.
We may re-position it, or leave it alone and let it move back to its regular position over time. This depends on the position of the tooth at the time of the visit. A baby tooth that is knocked out completely is NOT put back in, since it will likely fuse with the bone and cause problems later on.
An older child has a sports or playground accident and fractures one or more adult teeth
If you have the piece of the tooth that broke off, put the piece in milk and bring it to the office. We will determine whether the piece can/should be reattached or whether the tooth should be repaired with resin material.
The size of the fracture will determine treatment. If the pulp of the tooth was exposed in the fracture the tooth may need pulp treatment.
An older child has an accident and a permanent tooth is knocked out, or “avulsed”
Place the tooth in a sealed container of milk; make sure that the tooth is completely submerged. If there is no milk available (and if the child is old enough), place the tooth under the tongue so that is is bathed with saliva.
At the office we will clean the tooth and “re-implant” it into the socket.
Following that we will need to place a splint to help the tooth stay immobile and encourage healing. The splint usually stays in place for 1 week.