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Your child’s broken tooth can be alarming: Your child is upset, there appears to be a lot of blood, and you’re looking into your child’s mouth not really knowing what you’re looking at.
The first thing to do is grab a washcloth and wipe any blood off the inside of your child’s lips. Check for any cuts on the lips and any jagged edges on teeth. If the teeth are broken, try to find the pieces on the ground or in your child’s mouth. The third thing to do is to call a pediatric dentist.
Tooth Fractures in most cases are breaks to the outer enamel layer and inner dentin layer. If the fracture is only in enamel there may be mild to no cold sensitivity. If the fracture is into the dentin layer, your child may have pain upon eating foods and drinking cold liquids. Most often a children’s dentist can apply a resin band-aid to the tooth to seal the exposed surfaces and eliminate the sensitivity of the tooth until it can be further assessed for complete restoration.
In certain cases, the fracture can go into the nerve of the tooth. We call this a “pulp exposure”. Under these circumstances it is advised to see a pediatric dentist immediately to treat the nerve and secure the tooth to give the best possible chance to avoid needing root canal therapy.
The pediatric dentist will assess the tooth, take x-rays, and decide the next steps with you. Most times during a nerve exposure, the dentist will clean the area exposed and place a resin-band aid on the tooth. If the exposure is small, the dentist may replace the rest of the missing tooth with a white filling 1-3 weeks after the injury. The delay in treatment is to make sure the tooth is healing and won’t need root canal therapy. If the exposure is large, the dentist may stabilize the tooth with a resin and band-aid and ask you to see a root canal specialist or an “endodontist” for further treatment.
Now you know what to expect if your child ever breaks their tooth! For more on information on Tooth Trauma, please see our other blog “My Child Knocked Their Tooth Out- What do I do now?”
Junior Smiles Children’s Dentistry® is open and ready to see dental trauma emergencies for children of all ages. We are available for new patients and current patients alike. Keep our number handy if you ever have a need for us! Please call 303-455-3313 for an emergency appointment.