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Dr. Cynthia Pelley
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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
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8708 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
(503) 235-0313
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How to Handle Dental Emergencies on the Weekend

Posted on 5/10/2015 by Cynthia Pelley

A bright red sign with white letters saying emergency. Dental emergencies are scary and when they occur during non-business hours, such as on the weekend, they can seem even scarier. Before you are in that type of situation, it is important to know how to handle things so that you can feel in control of yourself and the situation rather than panicking and forcing your child to do the same. Everyone needs to remain calm and collected or the situation will just get out of hand.

When to go to the Hospital
Certain dental emergencies can and need to be handled at the hospital. These situations include fractures or dislocations to the jaw area, or any lacerations to the mouth or facial region that seem extreme. The hospital will be able to get the bleeding under control or help to minimize the pain in the event of a fractured or dislocated jaw. Keep in mind, however, that the hospital cannot handle dental issues themselves, they will simply make sure that your child is comfortable and do whatever is necessary to eliminate the bleeding and/or swelling.

When to Call the Dentist

If the situation is not life threatening and there is no blood or fractures, aside from a tooth, you should call us right away and avoid going to the hospital. If we are not available, you will receive instructions on how to proceed. If it is a true dental emergency, such as a knocked out tooth, your child will need to be seen right away. We will guide you to what you need to do in order to be seen in this situation. If the tooth is knocked out, it is important that no one touches it by the roots and that it remains moist until he is seen.

Other Types of Dental Emergencies

If your child's tooth is still intact and there is not excessive bleeding, you may be able to wait until normal business hours to be seen. The key here is to keep your child comfortable and calm. If there are fragments of his tooth, try to gather all of them after you get your child comfortable. you should start by rinsing his mouth with warm water and applying sterile gauze to any areas that are bleeding. Once the bleeding subsides, have your child lay down with a cold compress to alleviate the pain and/or swelling. It is typically acceptable to provide him with Tylenol or Motrin to deal with the pain and swelling at the same time. After everyone is comfortable and calm, put in a call to us so that we can tell you what the next steps will be.

The key factor is that everyone remains calm during any type of emergency. With the exception of a knocked out tooth, time is not crucial for treatment. You will need to be seen and we will tell you when that is when you call us, but we want to make sure that everyone is comfortable and calm. Once you have gathered all teeth fragments, stopped the bleeding, and are sure that the issue is not life threatening, you will feel better about the entire situation. Remember that your child reacts to how you act, so if you are out of control, he will be too.

If you have any questions about dental emergencies and what to do on the weekends, please talk to us. We are happy to walk you through the steps, even though we hope that you never have to use them!

Call us today at (503) 235-0313 to set up your child's appointment and to talk to us about dental safety and what to do in the face of an emergency.

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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry - Cynthia Pelley | | (503) 235-0313
8708 SE 17th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202