If your child experiences a dental emergency, call OPDSF Pediatric Dentistry at (415) 661-8383 as soon as possible. Our skilled pediatric dentists offer emergency pediatric dental care in San Francisco, California, and surrounding areas to help repair the damage, begin the healing process and get your child’s smile back on track as quickly as possible. We will also provide you with instructions on what to do until you can bring your in to meet with Dr. Pang, Dr. Chen, or Dr. Mo.
Emergency Dental Care
If your child has experienced a severe injury, call 911 immediately, even if you believe they may need dental treatment.
People of all ages can traumatically injure a tooth. Injuries may result from any number of situations, including bad falls, playing a sport, or bike or car accidents. When you experience a dental emergency, there are a few things you can do to care for the injury before meeting with our pediatric dentists.
If you have a broken jaw or another serious injury, we recommend that you visit the emergency room or your medical physician before seeking dental treatment. If your injury is life-threatening, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Chipped or Fractured Teeth
Some types of chips, cracks or fractures are relatively painless, but others may result in extreme pain. When you chip or fracture a tooth, contact our office immediately. While waiting to meet with our pediatric dentists, here are some things you can do:
- If any part of the tooth has broken off, rinse it in lukewarm water and bring it with you to the appointment
- Apply gauze to any bleeding areas for 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops
- Place an ice pack or cold compress on the cheek over the area to minimize swelling and pain
- Use a topical pain reliever
You may also cover the affected area with dental cement (available for purchase at most pharmacies).
Dislodged or Loosened Teeth
First, contact our office immediately to make arrangements to meet with our pediatric dentists. Then place an ice pack or cold compress over the area to relieve swelling and discomfort. You may also use a mild pain reliever.
Our pediatric dentists will examine the dislodged or loosened tooth and reposition and stabilize it again in your mouth. If it remains in the mouth and is attached to the blood vessels and nerves, you may not need a root canal. If the tooth does not heal, a root canal treatment may be necessary.
Avulsed (Knocked-Out) Teeth
If your tooth has been completely knocked out of its socket, contact our office immediately. Time is a critical factor in whether or not we can successfully replace your tooth in your mouth. After arranging to meet with our pediatric dentists, follow these instructions:
- Rinse your mouth to remove blood or other debris.
- Place a cold compress or ice pack on the cheek over the injury to reduce swelling.
- Pick up the tooth by the crown (chewing surface). Do not touch the root.
- Gently rinse the tooth with water to clean it. Do not use any soap or chemicals, scrub or dry the tooth, or wrap it in a tissue.
- If possible, place it back in the socket and hold it in place by gently biting down. If you cannot do this, keep the tooth moist by holding it in the cheek pouch or by placing it in milk, saline solution, your own saliva, a tooth preservation kit (available at most pharmacies) or in water.
Lost Filling or Crown
Crowns or fillings may become loose due to a blow to the face or decay in the tooth beneath the restoration. If this happens, contact our office to make an appointment as soon as possible. You may experience heightened tooth sensitivity when you lose your restoration.
In the meantime, keep your dental crown (if you have it) in a cool, safe place. We may be able to replace it on the tooth.
While waiting for your appointment, you may:
- Clean the crown and affix it to the tooth with dental cement (available at pharmacies)
- Smear the top of the tooth with cement to alleviate discomfort
- Apply clove oil to the tooth for pain relief
Do NOT use any kind of glue to replace the crown on your tooth.
Our pediatric dentists will check to see if your crown still fits. If so, it can be reattached to the tooth. If not, we will clean the tooth and make you a new crown.
A simple toothache can often be relieved by rinsing the mouth to clear it of debris, or by flossing to remove debris lodged between the teeth. If this does not relieve the problem, contact our office and make an appointment with our pediatric dentists so that we can determine the cause of your toothache and provide an appropriate treatment.
Do NOT place aspirin on your gums or teeth, as this can cause damage to your oral tissues.