When it comes to medical emergencies, parents usually know exactly what to do. Depending on the severity of the illness or injury, a trip to the urgent care clinic or the emergency room is most often in order. However, have you ever thought about what to do if your child has a dental emergency?
Children’s Dentistry offers pediatric dentist urgent care at each of our 10 Las Vegas area locations. If you’re not sure what to do, take a moment and read some of our advice to gain perspective of your options.
Understand, if your child is undergoing a medical emergency such as a severe or sudden blow to the head, before visiting the pediatric dentist, please call 911. If you have any questions after that, call our office at (702) 832-0508.
The Difference Between Medical And Dental Emergencies
The difference between pediatric dentist urgent care and an emergency room has nothing to do with the quality of care. Both places are well equipped to handle a host of different physical issues and ailments. The issue that you must consider, however, is the nature of the emergency you’re dealing with. The type of medical emergency your child is experiencing will dictate where you should go.
If your child had a broken bone, you wouldn’t go to the pediatric dentist. In much the same way, if your child has a broken tooth, you won’t want to go to the emergency room. This is because emergency rooms and urgent care clinics don’t have licensed pediatric dentists available to treat your child. In the end, you may end up waiting for hours in a hospital waiting room just to be told your child can’t be treated. Instead, dental emergencies require urgent care by a pediatric dentist.
What Do Pediatric Dentists Treat With Urgent Care?
What would be considered a reason for an urgent care visit to the dentist? Any acute oral care issue that requires an unexpected trip to the dentist. These unplanned trips usually are necessary due to a child that has pain in their mouth or because of an injury to the teeth or gums.
There are several reasons to bring your child to the pediatric dentist urgent care, including:
- A chipped or cracked tooth
- A tooth that has been knocked out
- A dental abscess (pussy, swollen gums)
- Any severe pain in the teeth or gums
Although some cosmetic dental issues (like smoothing out a cracked tooth) may not be an urgent need, if the offending tooth is not seen by the dentist quickly, an infection can easily set in, causing a host of problems.
Give The Pediatric Dentist A Call
If you’re not sure what to do, don’t hesitate to give the pediatric dentist a call immediately in regards to your urgent care questions. Many dentist offices will have several appointment slots each day reserved for urgent care visits. Pediatric dentists are sometimes open on Saturdays (just like some Children’s Dentistry’s locations are), which means the odds are good your child will be seen by the dentist within 24 hours of your call.
When you call the dentist’s office, explain the symptoms your child is experiencing, along with anything you’ve noted about your child’s injury and pain levels. The office will do what they can to fit you into their schedule as quickly as possible.
What Should I Do Until They’re Seen By The Dentist?
As a parent, one of the most helpless feelings you can experience is to watch your child suffer. When you call the pediatric dentist to see if they have any urgent appointments available, they’ll work quickly to help your child. However, it’s unlikely your child will be able to be seen immediately, meaning that you’ll need to help alleviate their symptoms until they can visit the pediatric dentist urgent care. Here are some steps you can take until then:
- A Broken or knocked out tooth: Collect the tooth, or at least gather as many fragments of the tooth as you can find. Carefully clean the pieces with water, removing any residual blood from the tooth. Then, soak the tooth in milk and bring it to the dentist for the appointment. Soaking the tooth will make it more likely to be preserved for a possible resetting.
- Medicate for pain: If your child is in pain, give them ibuprofen to help lessen their discomfort. Avoid aspirin, as it also acts as a blood thinner. If your child is already bleeding from the mouth, you don’t want to make it more difficult for their blood to clot.
- Use ice for swelling: Depending on the type of injury, your child may experience significant swelling along the jaw. Wrap an ice pack in a clean towel and have your child gently press the pack to the affected area.
If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the pediatric dentist urgent care again to find more specific solutions for your child’s injury.
Children’s Dentistry Helps Urgent Care Situations
In an urgent care situation, you’ll want a pediatric dentist that has several locations that can serve you. The reason for that is simple: with more locations available in your area, you’ll have a greater chance of having your child treated more quickly.
If you live in the Las Vegas metro area, you have a fantastic choice for pediatric dental urgent care. Your friends at Children’s Dentistry have many different locations to serve you, and we’ll coordinate between locations to find you the quickest possible appointment. We offer a host of in-office services and treatments to help in urgent care situations, such as x-rays, pupal therapy, and composite fillings. Depending on your child’s needs, we also offer safe, comfortable sedation dentistry to allow your child to relax while they’re receiving treatment.
We hope the next time you contact Children’s Dentistry will be for a preventative well visit, but if you need urgent care, our pediatric dental team is here for you as well!