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For after hours emergencies involving patients of record call (618) 364-7737.

Dental emergencies happen when we least expect them, but the key is knowing how to handle them properly. Below are the most commonly asked dental emegency questions. Please contact us for further assistance.

Q: What should I do if my child has a toothache?
A: First clean the area that your child is complaining of by having them rinse vigorously with warm water. If they are not old enough to rinse you may use a toothbrush and/or floss to dislodge any impacted food or debris. If the area is swollen you may place a cold compress on the face. Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Contact us as soon as possible.

Q: What should I do if my child's mouth or face are swollen?
A: Swelling is usually a sign of infection associated with a tooth that is badly decayed or traumatized. Place a cold compress and contact our office immediately so that we can help you obtain antibiotic or other treatment for the infection. If the swelling of the face is large and closing the eye or if the swelling is traveling into the neck take your child directly to the emergency room.

Q: What should I do if my child's tooth is chipped or fractured?
A: If the chip is minor you may visit us at your convenience. If however, there is a large piece of tooth missing rinse the mouth with water. If there is any swelling place a cold compress. Contact us immediately because early, effective treatment may prevent infection, reduce pain and expense associated with more extensive treatments required if the tooth is not treated right away. If you find the fragment of tooth that was knocked off bring it with you to the dentist.

Q: What should I do if my child knock out a tooth?
A: If it is a baby tooth do not try to put it back in. Give the tooth to the tooth fairy and schedule a visit at our office to insure the entire tooth and not just a piece was knocked out.
If it is a permanent tooth it is important that you find it right away and hold it by the crown, not the root. If you feel confident, rinse the tooth very lightly in water (Do not scrub or wipe it) and place it back into position within the mouth. Hold it in position with a clean wash cloth until you get to the office. If you do not feel confident to put it in place then put it in a cup of milk (If you don't have milk use a cup of saliva or water) and get immediately to the office. Time is of the essence, you must have the tooth implanted by the dentist within 3 hours.

Q: What should I do if my child cuts or bites their lip or cheek?
A: Apply firm but gentle pressure with a clean dry wash cloth until the bleeding stops. If the bleeding is not controlled after 15 minutes contact us.

Q: My child was at the dentist yesterday and today his or her lip is swollen?
A: It is not unusual for a child to bite his or her lip while numb following a dental procedure. The day after the procedure the lip may be noticeably swollen with a yellow or grey colored film on the inside. If this occurs you may place a cold compress to help with swelling. Administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help with the discomfort. Do not allow your child to eat or drink salty or acidic food for the next few days as this will cause the area to burn. The lip will heal completely within ten days.

Q: How do I prevent dental emergencies?
A: See us at regular intervals to prevent and treat dental disease and learn more about how you can protect your child's teeth with the use of mouth guards, seat belts and other home safety tips.


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