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Dental Emergencies

No parent ever wants to see their child or teenager in pain.  However, dental emergencies can sometimes occur.  Here are some of the most common issues, as well as steps to follow to resolve the issue and have the best possible outcome.

Child with Toothache

Please note: If your child has a dental emergency, please call Dr. Bob's office (during hours or afterhours) at 508-337-3307. Please take picture(s) of the situation and be prepared to send this photo upon request. If, in the rare event, the dentist is unable to respond within a timely manner please contact one of the following local hospitals:

                              1.) Boston Children's Hospital (617) 355-6571 (option #3)

                              2.) Hasbro Children's Hospital of RI  (401) 444-5284


Clean the area of the affected tooth. Rinse the mouth thoroughly with warm water & use dental floss to dislodge any food that may be impacted. If the pain still exists, contact your child’s dentist. Placing an over-the-counter temporary filling may cause more discomfort. If the face is swollen, apply cold compresses and contact Dr. Bob’s office immediately, as an antibiotic may be necessary.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek:

Apply ice to injured areas to help control swelling. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a gauze or cloth. If bleeding cannot be controlled by simple pressure, call your pediatric dentist or visit your nearest hospital emergency room.


Knocked Out Permanent Tooth:

If possible, find the tooth. Handle it by the crown, not by the root! You may rinse the tooth with water only. DO NOT clean with soap, scrub or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Inspect the tooth for fractures. If it is sound, try to reinsert it in the socket. Have the patient hold the tooth in place by biting on a gauze. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing the patient’s saliva or milk. If the patient is old enough, the tooth may also be carried in the patient’s mouth (beside the cheek). The child must see Dr. Bob IMMEDIATELY (within ~30 minutes of the injury). Time is a critical factor with regards to long term survival of the tooth.

Knocked Out Baby Tooth:

Contact your pediatric dentist during business hours. This is not usually an emergency, and in most cases, no treatment is necessary. Attempt to locate the tooth so your pediatric dentist can inspect it. If you cannot locate the missing tooth, it might have been pushed/forced into the socket. A simple radiograph will determine this situation & assess any underlying damage.

Chipped or Fractured Permanent Tooth:
Contact your pediatric dentist immediately. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. If possible, locate and save any broken tooth fragments and bring them with you to your child’s dentist.

Chipped or Fractured Baby Tooth:

Contact Dr. Bob so he can assess the situation.

Severe Blow to the Head:

Take your child to the nearest hospital emergency room immediately. Record any noted “loss of consciousness” to the hospital nurses/doctors upon arrival.

Possible Broken or Fractured Jaw:

Keep the jaw from moving and take your child to the nearest hospital emergency room.


Please call our office at 508-337-3307 with any questions or concerns about your child’s dental health.  We will be happy to assist you!

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