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Dental Emergency: Pop Goes The Tooth

  • September 9, 2016
  • The weather is nice — cool, but not too cold. You are watching your youngest child on the swings as your oldest is wandering around staring at his phone trying to catch all of … something or other.

    As your youngest asks you to push her so she can swing higher, you hear your son scream, “Mooooom!”

    You stop the swing and look around. Your son is on the ground next to a tree. You take your daughter by the hand and lead her to the where your son is trying not to cry.

    You can tell he is bleeding from the mouth, and his upper lip looks a little swollen. You would find out later that he got so excited about finding a rare creature in his game that he ran — literally ran — into the tree because he was more wrapped up in the game than in his surroundings.

    When he opens his mouth, you can’t ignore the fact that something is missing. He’s lost a tooth. You scan the ground, trying to remain calm for both your children’s sake. You see it. Your son’s missing tooth is there and it appears to be in one piece.

    What should you do next?


    Handling Dental Emergencies

    Before we answer that question, we want you to know that you can call Gilbart Dental Care any time you have a dental emergency.

    You can reach our dentists by calling the office closest to you. We have three locations in Maryland:

    If you are calling during our regular business hours, we will do everything we can to see you that same day. If you are calling outside of our normal hours, listen to the answering message and dial the number given for after hours assistance.

    No matter what, we want to help resolve your problem as soon as we can. We know that dental emergencies can be scary, whether they are happening to you or do someone you love.

    That’s also why we encourage you to contact us as soon as you are able whenever you are in need of emergency dental care. We can advise you on what to do until you are able to get to our office.

    Now back to your tooth-vs.-tree situation …


    Dealing With A Lost Tooth

    In the scenario described above, your son has run into a tree face first and knocked out one of his teeth.

    You’ve spotted the tooth on the ground. You should pick it up by the crown. Avoid touching the roots is at all possible.

    Next, you will want to rinse any dirt or blood from the tooth, and your son should rinse his mouth as well.

    If his mouth is still bleeding, get some gauze to hold against the wound. This will help to soak up the blood and assist in stopping the bleeding.

    Once the bleeding has stopped, you may want to rinse his mouth one more time. Then try to place the tooth back in its socket. If it will stay, then leave the tooth there until you are able to see the dentist.

    If the tooth will not stay, then you can do one of two things. First, your son can hold the tooth in his mouth between his teeth and his cheek. Second, you can place the tooth in a container of milk. You want to keep the tooth moist, but you should not use tap water for this purpose.


    What The Dentist Can Do

    The sooner you are able to see the dentist, the better chance we have of saving the tooth. If this is possible, we may be able to use a special splint to secure the tooth that was knocked out to its neighbors. As your son’s mouth heals, the jawbone may reform around the root and hold the tooth in place.

    If the tooth can’t be saved, we recommend replacing it as soon as possible. The options for this will depend, in part on your son’s age.

    For children who are still growing and developing, a partial denture may be the best temporary solution. When your children are older, it may be possible to use a dental implant and dental crown to replace the lost tooth.


    Contact Us Anytime

    Gilbart Dental Care wants you to get the help you need as soon as possible in a dental emergency.

    For non-emergencies, you can contact our dentists to schedule an appointment by filling out our online form or by calling the closest location in Frederick (240-513-7523), Hagerstown (240-347-0910), or Ellicott City (240-347-0614).

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