A Pediatric dental injury at school can occur at any moment and it is crucial to have someone on the school staff to attend to such emergencies. Up to a third of children will suffer a dental injury by the age of 12 so preparation is key. We provide here some suggestions for treating some dental injuries at school.
This is usually a non-painful dental problem and, as a result of that, is very likely to be overlooked. It is a minor fracture of the enamel, which could potentially leave the dentin exposed. Chipping of a tooth doesn’t displace it and there is typically no bleeding as a result; a child will only notice when he or she feels rough, jagged edges on a tooth.
While, ordinarily, a chipped tooth isn’t something to worry much about, it could possibly lead to serious issues when this results in exposure of nerve tissue. Until a child is able to see a dentist, sugar-free chewing gum or orthodontic wax can be placed on the chipped portion. Treatment of a chipped tooth involves the use of a dental filling or crown, depending on the extent of the fracture.
Severe Tooth Fracture
Children can also suffer severe tooth fracture – more serious than chipping – while at school. This type of fracture not only involves the cracking of the outer layers of the tooth, enamel, and dentin but also exposes the pulp, which houses blood vessels and nerve tissues. Unlike in the case of chipping, a serious fracture may loosen or displace the tooth, leading to gum bleeding.
Treatment of severe tooth fracture typically involves splinting of the affected tooth to adjoining teeth in order to prevent it from falling off and to stabilize it for proper healing to take place. A dental professional may then place a sedative dressing on the broken tooth for pain relief. There will usually be a need to reevaluate the tooth about 2-4 weeks later to assess the level of recovery. A root canal procedure may also be unavoidable if there is a great risk of an exposed pulp becoming infected.
In even more severe cases, such as vertical, horizontal or diagonal tooth fractures, affected teeth may be beyond salvaging, probably because they have become too loose. The teeth will have to be extracted and replaced with prosthetics in such instances.
While playing, children can get their teeth knocked out completely as a consequence of unexpected, heavy hit. Knocked-out, or avulsed, a tooth is among the most severe dental emergencies and the effectiveness of the treatment depends significantly on steps taken immediately afterward. This injury should especially be taken more seriously when it affects permanent teeth, as lost primary or baby teeth are usually replaced naturally.
When a child loses a permanent tooth, effort should be made to immediately locate it. Pick the tooth by its crown (the exposed part used for chewing), gently rinse it in clean water or milk and then reinsert it into its socket, probably holding it in place using sterile gauze. If the tooth won’t hold in its socket, you should place it in milk or an emergency solution for this purpose until you are able to take the child to a dentist.
As in the case of severe fracture, splinting is usually done to stabilize the tooth while bone and tissue healing takes place – the splint remains in place for weeks. Children who have completely-formed tooth root may require a root canal procedure as a safeguard against infection. The re-implanted tooth will need to be observed for several years afterward for symptoms of dental problems.
Treatment For Tooth Abscess At Our Dental Practice in Monroe, NC
Monroe Family Dentistry is there for you and your children from day one and we are happy to work with you and your child to start habits from birth. If you live near Monroe, NC call us to schedule an appointment today at 704.776.4278.
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