What Is Urgent Dental Care?
Dental emergencies are common among younger patients and can be frightening for both children and parents alike. If your child has an urgent dental need, Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates is here to help. Our board-certified team of specialists offers 24/7 emergency dental care and is always ready to assist. We treat a wide range of dental emergencies with some of the most common being toothaches, broken teeth, dislodged or knocked-out teeth, and lacerations or bites to the soft tissues (lips, cheeks, gums, or tongue). Dental emergencies may result from a number of sources, from accidents during sports or blunt-force trauma to chewing hard foods or a slip-and-fall. While your child may or may not express any discomfort, it is still extremely important to have one of our emergency dentists take a look to screen for hidden damage. Urgent dental care needs are always a priority at our Lancaster, PA practice. Please call our direct line during business hours or emergency phone number after-hours to talk with one of our emergency dentists and get the help your child needs right away.
What Are The Different Types of Dental Emergencies?
As a parent, you are likely wondering what you can do to assist your child if a dental emergency occurs. In the event of an emergency, please call our Lancaster, PA office to speak with one of our dentists immediately. Our team is specially trained to treat all types of dental emergencies in-office and on a hospital-basis. The following are helpful tips to follow until you arrive at our practice or the hospital for care:
Toothache: If your child reports experiencing a toothache or pain, have them first rinse with warm water. Take a look to ensure that food is not trapped between the teeth in any area. You can give them children’s pain relievers to help manage the discomfort, but please do not apply heat, topical gels, or aspirin to the area. This can harm the delicate gum tissues and result in further damage.
Knocked-out tooth: While holding the knocked-out tooth by the crown (the portion that sits above the gums), rinse the tooth with water, but please try to avoid touching the tooth root. You can then place the tooth in a container of milk and bring it with you to our office or the hospital. Knocked-out teeth may be re-implanted and saved if quick action is taken.
Chipped or broken tooth: Have your child rinse with water and then apply a cold compress against the face or jaw. If possible, try to locate the tooth fragment(s) and bring any pieces with you to your child's emergency visit.
Bite to the lip or tongue: If bleeding occurs as a result of a bite the lip, tongue, or other soft tissues in the mouth, clean the area with water and apply a cold compress or wet washcloth to minimize swelling.
Loose tooth: While an exciting event for a child, a loose baby tooth can also be inhaled or swallowed. Please contact our team for a visit if your child has a tooth that is extremely loose.
Jaw injury: Trauma to the jaw often result from a head injury, which can also be life-threatening. If your child experiences a broken jaw or another type of injury, you can apply a cold compress, but please head to the hospital right away.
Object caught between the teeth: At times, food or other objects may become trapped between the teeth. If this occurs, you can gently try to remove the object with dental floss, but please avoid using toothpicks or plastic or metal instruments as these items can break off or cause damage.
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Who Is a Candidate for Emergency Care?
Our skilled team offers fast, efficient care for all types of urgent dental care needs. You may find yourself in need of emergency dental services if your child has a toothache or other oral pain, a dislodged tooth or filling, or a jaw injury. While some types of emergencies may seem relatively minor, such as a chipped tooth or bump to the mouth, it is still important to visit us for an evaluation. Other types of concerns require immediate care, such as with knocked-out or dislodged teeth, which generally require re-implantation into the tooth socket within 30 minutes to generate the best possible outcome. Please contact Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates right away if your child experiences injuries or trauma that affect the jaw, teeth, lips, or gum tissues. A member of our team will assist you in deciding when to visit the office, advise you on how to store your child's restoration or tooth until you arrive, and provide suggestions on how to minimize any discomfort your child may be experiencing. Since even minor concerns can often result in greater dental needs, we encourage you to have one of our emergency dentists evaluate your child as soon as possible.
What Should I Expect During A Dental Emergency?
Dental emergencies vary according to each unique situation. When you arrive at our practice or the hospital, one of our highly trained pediatric dentists will provide a thorough assessment of your child's mouth and then render a diagnosis. We may take digital x-rays to screen for areas of damage not visible to the naked eye. Once we fully understand your child's situation, we will talk with you about treatment options and develop a plan of action. Our goal is to get your child out of discomfort and back to enjoying a happy and healthy smile as quickly as possible. Depending on your child's needs, this may take one or more dental visits.
What Should I do After a Dental Emergency?
Specific follow-up and recovery instructions will be provided for you after your child's dental emergency visit. A prescription for antibiotics might be given if an infection is present while over-the-counter pain relievers may be suggested to improve your child's comfort. We may also recommend follow-up visits to complete treatment or evaluate your child's healing progress. Tips on preventing future dental emergencies can also be reviewed, which might include the fabrication of a custom mouth guard to protect the teeth and gums during sporting activities. Maintaining good oral hygiene at home, along with routine dental cleaning and exam visits at Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates, can also help keep your child's teeth strong and smile healthy. Throughout your child's future dental visits, our team will continue to assess their recovery and oral health.
Will Insurance Cover A Dental Emergency?
Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates is pleased to be a participating provider for several dental insurance plans. Once we have examined your child and determined their treatment needs, we will contact your provider and determine coverage amounts. Please do not delay seeking urgent dental care for your child due to financial worries as this could lead to greater discomfort and larger treatment needs. We accept several types of convenient payment solutions and can help you apply for low-interest financing to help cover any uncovered portion of your child's care.
Emergency Children's Dentistry FAQ
How do I know if swelling requires pediatric dental urgent care?
The best way to decide if your child's swelling needs immediate dental attention is to determine if the symptom is severe. For example, if your child is experiencing a little bit of swelling accompanied by a toothache, give us a call during regular business hours, and we can help you determine if they need to be seen. If you would classify your child's swelling as severe or serious, contact our office for emergency dental care immediately so we can help keep your child in optimal oral health.
If my child has a broken or dislodged tooth, when should we contact our dentist?
If your child has a tooth knocked out or broken, it is imperative that you contact us as soon as possible. We recommend placing the tooth in milk to preserve it until your child can be seen. Our team is committed to preserving the health of your child's teeth and gums at all times! If your child is experiencing a pediatric dental emergency, contact our Lancaster, PA office to be seen promptly.
How can I be prepared for a dental emergency?
The best tip we can recommend is to have our address and contact information saved in a place where you can easily access them. We understand dental emergencies can be scary and chaotic. But rest assured, you can trust our team to help your child in any way we can!
Comfort, Care, and Compassion
Our expert emergency pediatric dentists have been serving the needs of children in Lancaster, PA since 1985. We understand the unique needs of children, especially in an emergency situation. If your child has experienced a bump to the mouth or jaw or has bleeding, discomfort, or any type of injury, please get in touch with Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates right away. We are available around-the-clock to provide the trusted, compassionate care your child needs.
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