Accidents Happen. When to Go to Emergency Room, When to Go to the Dentist

With summer quickly approaching, we are all going to be wanting to enjoy the great outdoors. With biking, rollerblading, skate boarding, and other outdoor activities, there is an increased risk for accidents. It’s better to be prepared BEFORE they happen.

For example, say your child fell outside while riding their bike (we really hope this doesn’t happen, course). He/she is bleeding quite heavily and you’re not sure what’s damaged in their mouth. As a parent, we can always try our best to prevent injuries but it’s going to happen – children are quite accident prone. Some injuries are serious while others aren’t too worrisome. How do you tell when to act? See below for guidelines:

If there is heavy bleeding, the first rule is not to panic. The mouth will bleed easily and heavily after just about any injury so it’s best to assess the situation. Grab a cloth and hold with pressure to slow bleeding, it will generally stop within 15 minutes whether you hold with pressure or not. First, look to see if there are any wounds or cuts on the lips or face, possible broken bones, or head trauma that could cause concussion. If you believe any of those are present or you are just not sure, your best bet would be a visit down to the hospital.

If you do not have any of those, this is a good sign but you still have quite a mess to deal with. If you still go to the hospital, you may have to wait several hours and then possibly be referred to visit your dentist anyways. Calling us may save you a trip and waiting times at the hospital.

Look inside the mouth and see if there are any knocked out, broken, or misplaced teeth. Also check the upper teeth and lip area – if the child hits his/her mouth, they may have torn their maxillary frenum, the small piece of tissue that connects the gum and upper lip between the two front teeth (this area can tear easily if hit or stretched too much). This injury does bleed a lot but usually requires no stitches and rarely no treatment at all – it is quite common with toddlers and preschoolers, actually. If an adult tooth is knocked out, you will need to get the tooth back in as soon as possible and your dentist can help. If it is a baby tooth that is knocked out, you can just leave it out (and put under their pillow for the tooth-fairy to visit!). If your child has braces or breaks a wire, please do call us immediately.

Northern Dental Care has a team of dentists and specialists to suit your needs; you may get all needed treatment done in one place instead of being referred out.

Northern Dental Care also has a dedicated after-hours emergency line, for both patients and non-patients, and we accept emergency visits for all. If you experience a dental emergency, please call our office and press “9” during the automated message to be forwarded to the after-hours line.

We also accept all types of insurance, including government plans such as Ontario Works, ODSP, and Healthy Smiles. Financing and payment plans are also available.

Stay Safe Out There!

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