As a parent, you’re probably pretty good at judging if your child is seriously injured or if they just have a small scrape they can walk off. But you may not feel as confident in judging the severity of a dental injury. If your child is experiencing a dental emergency, should you take them to a pediatric dentist or the ER? How do you know if your child needs immediate dental care or can wait a day or two for an appointment?
At Mitten Kids Dentistry, our emergency pediatric dentists in Grand Rapids are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We’re here for your family if your child needs emergency dental care.
When to Go to the Hospital for a Dental Emergency
Go to the hospital if your child has a life-threatening condition.
For example, let’s say a ball hit your child in the face during a baseball game. If they just knocked out a tooth, you could take them to an emergency pediatric dentist. However, if they lost a tooth and their jaw is broken, take them to the ER instead. Serious medical issues are best addressed by hospital staff.
In general, visit the hospital for these emergencies:
- Fractured jaw
- Dislocated jaw
- Deep cuts in the mouth and face that won’t stop bleeding
- Large dental abscess that makes it difficult to breathe or swallow
When to See an Emergency Children’s Dentist
It actually costs more money to visit the ER before calling our emergency dentists. If your child isn’t in a life-threatening situation, save yourself the hospital bill by calling us first. Our dentists will be able to diagnose and treat the source of your child’s dental pain, restoring oral health.
In general, visit our dentists for these dental emergencies:
- Severe tooth pain
- Dental abscess
- Swollen gums
- Knocked-out tooth
- Large chip or crack in tooth
- Broken tooth or large piece of missing tooth
The Trouble with Toothaches
Don’t visit an ER or urgent care center for a toothache. These facilities don’t hire dentists and can’t treat the underlying causes of toothaches. In fact, most states ban non-dentists from extracting teeth and performing other dental work. The only thing a medical doctor can do for your child is prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers before referring you to an emergency pediatric dentist.
If your child is only suffering from a toothache, you may think that you can wait for them to see a dentist. That’s true if their pain is mild. However, severe tooth pain can interrupt your child’s daily life. Children may stop talking, eating, or even sleeping if their tooth pain is severe enough. That could result in speech problems, undernourishment, or other developmental issues over time.
Our emergency dentists can diagnose the underlying cause of your child’s pain. For example, a severe toothache might mean that they have a cavity deep enough to penetrate their tooth’s pulp. It could also mean your child grind their teeth at night. The only way to know for certain is to request an appointment with our emergency children’s dentists.
Get Emergency Dental Care for Your Child
Don’t put off calling our emergency pediatric dentists. The sooner you seek urgent dental care for your child, the sooner we’ll be able to treat issues before they develop into something more serious. For example, seeing a dentist immediately could mean the difference between your child needing a filling and your child needing a root canal.
Our Grand Rapids, MI, emergency pediatric dentists are available 24/7, even on weekends and holidays. If your child needs emergency dental care, don’t delay. Call Mitten Kids Dentistry at (616) 942-9840, or contact us online.
This blog post has been updated.