All posts | March 19, 2024

What Qualifies as a Pediatric Dental Emergency?

by Dr. Liel Grinbaum

Pediatric dental emergencies require immediate attention from dental professionals to address severe pain, discomfort, or risk to a child's oral health. These emergencies can arise from a variety of incidents, including accidents, injuries, infections, or the sudden onset of dental conditions. Immediate action is often necessary to prevent long-term damage or complications. Understanding what constitutes a pediatric dental emergency, its common causes, and how Smiles & Grins can assist is crucial for parents and guardians in safeguarding their children's dental health.

Common Causes of Dental Emergencies

Pediatric dental emergencies at Smiles & Grins can stem from several situations, from the sudden to the progressive. Identifying these emergencies early and knowing the appropriate steps to take can significantly impact the child's recovery process.


Toothaches in children can indicate underlying dental issues such as cavities, infections, or abscesses. Smiles & Grins takes a child's tooth pain seriously, understanding that untreated dental problems can lead to more severe complications. Our immediate dental care aims to diagnose the cause of the pain and provide pain relief through appropriate treatment. One option is to use warm water and salt to swish around the mouth until you can get a dental appointment. 

Knocked-out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth, particularly a knocked-out permanent tooth, is an urgent dental emergency that Smiles & Grins is well-equipped to handle. The success of reimplanting the permanent tooth decreases as time passes, so immediate action is crucial. Smiles & Grins advises parents to gently rinse the tooth without scrubbing, reinsert it into the socket if possible, or keep it moist in a glass of milk or saliva and bring the child to our clinic right away. Contact us immediately if you're unsure if the tooth is a permanent tooth or a baby tooth.

Dental Intrusion

When a tooth is forcefully pushed into the jawbone due to an injury, this dental intrusion can harm the tooth's ligament and the surrounding bone. Smiles & Grins provides prompt dental evaluation and treatment for such injuries, addressing potential complications and promoting healing. If the dental trauma includes facial swelling, hold an ice pack on the affected swelling. 

Tooth Displacement

Tooth displacement, where a tooth is pushed sideways, out of, or into its socket, requires immediate care. Smiles & Grins specializes in repositioning and stabilizing displaced teeth, sometimes using splinting techniques to ensure proper healing and prevent further dental issues. 

Broken Tooth

A broken or fractured tooth can lead to significant pain and potential infection if untreated. The experts at Smiles & Grins assess the severity of the break to determine the best course of action, which may range from simple bonding to more complex treatment options like root canal therapy or crowning if the nerve is exposed.

Root Fracture

Root fractures involve cracks that start in the root of the tooth and extend towards the crown. Often detected only through dental x-rays, these injuries require the expertise of Smiles & Grins to determine the appropriate treatment, which may include stabilization or extraction depending on the fracture's severity.

Smiles & Grins is Here for You During Pediatric Dental Emergencies

Recognizing and promptly responding to pediatric dental emergencies can drastically affect a child's dental health outcome. Smiles & Grins advises parents and guardians to keep our contact information readily available and familiarize themselves with the basics of first aid for dental emergencies. Our pediatric dentists are specially trained to handle these situations, providing the necessary care and guidance to effectively navigate these stressful incidents.

Pediatric dental emergencies can be alarming, but being prepared can help manage the situation until professional assistance from Smiles & Grins is available. Preventative care like regular dental check-ups and good dental hygiene can prevent many emergencies; however, when accidents occur, knowing that Smiles & Grins is ready to help can offer invaluable peace of mind. Contact us today to schedule your child’s dentist appointment!

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