Common pediatric dental injuries include a damaged tooth that results in chips or cracks, a broken tooth, a loose tooth, a knocked-out tooth, and lacerations to the inside of the mouth such as the tongue, cheeks, gums, or lips.
Dental trauma from sports injuries, falls, teeth grinding, biting into hard foods or objects, and injuries to the jaw are common dental emergencies that can result in damage to a child’s teeth or soft tissues and uncontrollable bleeding.
When teeth have small chips or cracks, they can be repaired with fillings. However, more severe damage such as a deep fracture may require a pulpotomy and a pediatric crown. When teeth are loose, we can either stabilize them with a splint or extract and replace them.
Primary teeth will not be replaced but a space maintainer will need to be placed to hold open the gap for the permanent tooth to erupt. Knocked-out teeth are time-sensitive injuries and require immediate treatment to reattach the tooth.
Injuries to the soft tissues inside of the mouth can be repaired with stitches and bleeding is controlled with gauze. Contact your Southborough pediatric dentist to schedule an emergency appointment.
We will first need your child to come in for an oral exam and x-rays to be taken of your tooth so we can assess how much damage has been done to the tooth and if a pulpotomy is necessary.
After numbing your child’s mouth, about 1.5mm will need to be removed from around the crown of the tooth to prepare it for a stainless steel crown. This creates enough room for the cap to fit over the tooth.
Stainless steel crowns are prefabricated and come in a range of sizes. We will determine the correct size crown to place over your child’s tooth and have a fitting to ensure it feels and looks right. Additional trimming can be performed.
If the crown is sufficient, we will cement the crown to the tooth to complete the procedure.
Stainless steel crowns are unbeatable in terms of strength and durability. When a child is missing significant tooth structure due to oral trauma, tooth decay, a large filling, or has been weakened from root canal treatment, they will need additional protection to prevent damage and breakage to the tooth.
This is especially important in the rear molars which are used for chewing and risk fracturing if they are not protected with a crown. A fracture that runs up to the tooth’s root can put your child’s oral health in serious jeopardy, risking infection.
A stainless steel crown is specifically designed out of the most durable materials for a long lifespan. This is why they are the standard treatment in primary teeth because other crowns which are made for optimal aesthetics have a decreased lifespan.
The stainless steel crown will last for the remaining lifespan of the tooth and fall out along with it. They can also be placed in permanent teeth and later replaced. Studies have shown that they have an 88% success rate with an average service rate of 45 months.
Stainless steel crowns are considerably more cost-effective than other dental crowns, especially given their superior durability. Out of all of the crown materials, stainless steel is by far the most affordable, even over other metal crowns. This is because these crowns require additional costs for materials, impressions, outside dental labs, and additional appointments.
For very young children like infants and toddlers, bathtubs are common sources of injuries due to accidental slips and falls. Most bathtubs are made of porcelain which is a slippery material, to begin with and once they’re filled with water, your child can easily slip and hit their head or face on the bathtub if you aren’t careful.
You should always be monitoring young children when they are taking a bath to prevent slips and falls. Young children have less coordination and you should discourage them from jumping or walking in the bathtub. Tell them to sit down as you help them bathe and try to make sure they don’t stand up without having something to hold onto.
A common source of injury for slightly older children is throwing around objects to each other while playing games like a frisbee or a ball. Make sure your kids and their friends understand that they should never aim for each other’s heads, as this could cause severe oral injuries.
When children are old enough to play sports, they have an increased risk of suffering from dental trauma as a result of sports injuries. It’s a good idea to have your child wear a mouthguard when they play sports and make sure they are wearing proper safety equipment such as a helmet when playing sports or riding things like bikes and skateboards.
If your child goes to the playground, make sure they know to be careful because accidents can happen on swings, monkey bars, and many other common playground contraptions. Watch over young children if you take them to a playground and make sure they know that they shouldn’t be hanging upside down, swinging too high, or climbing on top of a playground set.
Common symptoms of dental trauma include bleeding from the inside or outside of the mouth, chips or cracks in a tooth, tooth or jaw pain, difficulty moving their jaw or opening their mouth, a loose or missing tooth, jagged edges of a tooth, and changes to their bite. If you also notice swelling and an abscess, this is a sign of infection and you should contact us right away for a dental emergency.
Seeking immediate treatment following dental trauma is so important because it can be the difference between saving and losing a tooth. When your child has an oral injury, the severity can vary greatly.
Since you will not be aware of how bad it is or if there is an infection unless you take them to the dentist, you won’t be able to accurately assess how bad the injury is without the help of a professional dentist.
If knocked-out teeth aren’t reattached within 30 minutes, the likelihood of saving the tooth greatly diminishes. Tooth infections can be caused by dental trauma and if left untreated, will spread to other teeth or through the bloodstream. Many dental injuries can result in the need for extractions if not promptly treated.