Emergency Care

Dental emergencies can have devastating consequences, and it’s easy to panic if you are unprepared to handle these situations. We recognize that dental emergencies can happen at any time, so our schedule is designed to accommodate same-day appointments.

In addition to evaluating your child as soon as possible, we can also tell you what to do at home to manage any symptoms while you are waiting to be seen at our office.

Fortunately, many dental emergencies can be prevented by taking fairly simple actions. We will also work with you to make sure that you are minimizing your child’s risk of experiencing an urgent dental issue in the first place.

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week either in the office or through our answering service. If your child ever experiences a dental emergency, call us as soon as possible.

What To Do In Case Of A Pediatric Dental Emergency

If your child experiences a dental emergency, such as a facial injury or a severe toothache, use your best judgment in determining how to proceed. If symptoms such as pain or bleeding are very severe or if a bone fracture is involved, it makes sense to go to your local ER and then follow up with us afterward.

Emergency Dentist | Belterra TX | Pediatric Dentistry

However, if your child doesn’t seem to need immediate medical attention, you can call our office to schedule an appointment and get further guidance about managing any symptoms in the interim while you are waiting for that appointment.

We are available to you after regular business hours, via our answering service. You can call our office regardless of what time the dental emergency is happening, and someone will get back to you with more information about how to proceed.

Managing Dental Emergencies At Home

While our schedule does have room for same-day appointments, you may still need to wait for a short period of time before we can find a spot for you. There are likely some things you can do to keep the issue in check while you are waiting for your child’s appointment.

For example, if a permanent tooth is dislodged, you can store it in a small container of dental preservation media or, in a pinch, some milk, until you can get to our office. If there is bleeding at the site, apply pressure using sterile gauze, and use an ice pack to reduce swelling.

To handle such situations when they arise, you may want to consider keeping a dental first aid kit at home. It should contain the following supplies:

  • Gauze to absorb bleeding
  • Latex gloves
  • Dental preservation media, along with a small container for temporary tooth storage
  • Dental wax to cover jagged and rough tooth edges or broken orthodontic appliances
  • Cold compress to minimize swelling
  • Pediatric strength over-the-counter pain medication to address any discomfort

Preventing Dental Emergencies

Of course, ideally, you’ll be able to prevent dental emergencies so that your child won’t need urgent care in our office. If you follow a few simple guidelines, you can minimize your child’s risk of oral health emergencies.

For example, tooth decay can often cause urgent issues if the cavity reaches the innermost portion of the tooth, causing significant discomfort. Practicing good oral hygiene habits and seeing a dentist twice a year for cleanings and exams drastically reduces your child’s risk of tooth decay.

Facial trauma is another common cause of dental emergencies. You can work to reduce these risks by:

  • Keeping your home free of clutter that could become a tripping hazard.
  • Making sure that your child wears a mouthguard when playing contact sports.
  • Securing younger children in a car seat specifically designed for their height and weight, and making sure that older children always wear their seatbelts.
  • Avoiding distractions while you are driving and your children are in the car. Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you have any questions about what you can do to prevent dental emergencies, ask at your next visit or call our office and speak to a staff member.

Common Questions about Dental Emergencies

What is a dental emergency?

A dental emergency is an issue affecting the teeth, bones or soft oral tissues that require immediate attention. Some examples of dental emergencies are broken or cracked teeth, toothache, fractured facial bones, dislodged teeth or lacerations to the lips, tongue, gums or cheeks.

Does my child need emergency dental care?

If your child is experiencing significant symptoms, such as pain, unusual sensitivity to temperature or bleeding, related to a dental issue, then they likely need emergency care. Use common sense to determine whether the problem warrants an immediate trip to the ER or can wait for care in our office.

What if my child breaks a tooth?

If your child breaks a tooth, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area and apply an ice pack to reduce swelling.

With a permanent tooth, try to replace the tooth directly back in its socket. If you feel that your child might swallow the tooth or will not tolerate placement, put the tooth in a saline solution or water and arrange to be seen in our office as soon as possible.

How soon can my child be seen in an emergency case?

We often can see your child for a same-day appointment when an urgent need arises. Ideally, we will be able to schedule the appointment within a few hours of your call, although our schedule does vary and it may occasionally require a bit of a longer wait.