If you have a young child, then you know that accidents can and will happen on occasion. Sports activities and general falls are two common causes of injuries. Sometimes, injuries can occur to the teeth. If a dental accident involves one of the permanent or adult teeth, then you need to work quickly to seek out the assistance of an emergency dentist. If a tooth crack is evident, then there are several things you should do before you get to the dental office to make sure that your child is calm and dental treatments are successful.
Keep Tooth Fragments
If your son or daughter cracks or chips one of his or her teeth, then it is wise to find the tooth fragments. A tooth that has been cracked through the enamel and dentin alone may be able to be glued back together. This may be a permanent or temporary fix depending on the type of damage that has been sustained.
If you do not keep the tooth piece, then a costly crown procedure may need to be completed. In some cases, an emergency bonding procedure will need to be completed where resin is used to reshape the tooth. This is often necessary to cover and protect the exposed dentin along the break area.
Storing Tooth Pieces
When your son or daughter cracks a tooth, look carefully for the tooth fragment and rinse it with warm water. Make sure the tooth stays moist to keep new cracks from forming. Set the tooth on a piece of wet paper towel and stick it in a sealed container. If the tooth appears dirty, do not try to scrub away the debris. You may cause permanent damage to the dental enamel and the tooth may not be used to make the dental repair.
Do Not Touch the Tooth
If a large portion of your son or daughter's tooth has been injured, then the damage might reach through the tooth pulp. The tooth pulp is the living tissue that sits inside the tooth and the material is extremely sensitive to extreme temperatures and pressure. If you see blood coming out of your child's broken tooth or if you notice a pink colored substance along the break, then the tooth pulp has been exposed.
You should never touch this tissue. Pressure against the pulp can cause a great deal of pain. Also, your hands are covered with a great deal of bacteria. The microorganisms can easily be transferred from the hands to the tissues.
Protect the Tooth Pulp
If the pulp is exposed across your son or daughter's broken tooth, then a root canal procedure will likely need to be performed. This is necessary to remove the damaged pulp so future infections do not occur. If you touch the pulp before you see an emergency dentist, then bacteria can start to eat away at the pulp. An emergency root canal procedure may need to be performed before the dentist has time to carefully consider the tooth injury.
You can keep discomfort and infection risks to a minimum by covering the broken area of the tooth before you meet with an emergency dentist. Dental wax is one of the best materials you can use to cover the break. This wax is provided by orthodontists and dentists when braces or other dental implements are placed in the mouth. If you have this wax, then secure a thick layer of the material over the tooth break. Beeswax candles and paraffin products can be used as well as an alternative to dental wax.
If you do not have any wax, then find a piece of sugar-free gum and ask your child to chew it. Once the gum is pliable, shape it around the cracked tooth.
If you have a child who commonly injuries himself or herself, then a future injury may involve one of the teeth. When the tooth is a permanent one, then you need to make sure that an emergency dentist evaluates the problem as soon as possible. Before you make it to the dental office, make sure to follow the tips above. Click here for more information.