No parent likes facing an emergency involving their child. It’s scary to see a child hurting and in pain. Unfortunately, no matter how much we protect our children, there will be times when a painful or frightening dental emergency arises. These situations often happen at night or on weekends and holidays when dental clinics and offices are closed. However, you are never alone when faced with an unexpected dental emergency. Dr. Bruce Vafa and his staff are committed to providing dental emergency services when you need them. You can rest assured that help is just a phone call away when dental emergencies arise.
At times, it is easy to spot a true dental emergency. At other times, it may not be as clear whether it is a problem that can be dealt with the following day, when the dentist office opens, or if it is something that needs immediate attention. There are a few ways to distinguish a true dental emergency from a minor problem that can be handled during normal business hours. If any of the following occur, you should contact the dental office immediately:
- persistent tooth pain or mouth discomfort
- trauma that loosens or dislodges a permanent tooth
- signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or unpleasant odor
Sometimes a toothache can be managed at home if it is mild. If your child is complaining of tooth pain, try cleaning the affected tooth with dental floss and warm water rinses to dislodge possible food particles that could be causing the pain. If the pain still persists, you need to contact the dental office.
Bleeding caused by a bitten tongue, cheek, or lip is usually stopped easily by applying gentle, but firm, pressure over the affected area with a cloth. Any excessive bleeding, or bleeding that persists after 15 minutes, is a cause for concern. If this occurs, you need to take your child to the nearest Emergency Room or Urgent Care Center for treatment.
A permanent tooth that is dislodged due to trauma is always a dental emergency. Urgent action is required to preserve the life of the tooth. If a permanent tooth sustains trauma and becomes loose or falls out, follow these steps and contact your dentist immediately:
- locate the missing tooth
- handle the tooth by the crown and avoid touching the root
- rinse the tooth, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary
- inspect the tooth for cracks or fractures
- if the tooth is not broken or cracked, place it back into the socket
- have the patient hold the tooth in place by biting on gauze or a cloth
- if the tooth cannot be inserted in the mouth, soak it in the patient’s saliva or some milk
Keeping your child comfortable and happy is a high priority for Dr. Bruce Vafa and his staff. Please feel free to contact the office at 310-201-9003 to discuss any urgent problems or questions you have regarding your child’s dental health. If problems arise during normal business hours, you may bring your child to the office for an evaluation.
You don’t want to see your child suffer unnecessary pain and neither do we. No situation, no matter how small, is insignificant if it means your child isn’t comfortable. Always call if you are unsure whether you are dealing with an emergency or not. At times it may not be a true emergency, but you will have peace of mind knowing your child is healthy and happy, and so will we.