Does Your Child Need Urgent Dental Care?

Every parent has to handle a medical crisis with their kids at least once, whether it’s a broken bone or a bloody nose. But what do you do when something’s wrong with your child’s teeth?

If it’s a serious emergency and requires medical care, the first step before seeking urgent dental care is dialing 911. However, if you need a dental office open on a Saturday or your child has fallen and broken a tooth, you can get urgent dental care at one of more than 120 Kool Smiles locations across the country. It’s convenient and accessible for families of all incomes.

Call 254-781-0553 to find your nearest location and see one of our kid-friendly dentists.

Find Fast Dental Care for Your Children

When an accident occurs, sometimes they’re not such a big deal. A skinned knee is a quick fix, and you know that a broken arm means a visit to an urgent care center or the hospital. But there’s not always a clear path when your kid has a problem with their teeth, like a chipped tooth or a toothache.

If you think your child needs immediate dental care, here are some questions to ask yourself:

Is This a Dental Emergency?

Smoothing a chipped tooth is not usually a dental crisis that has to be dealt with immediately, but bleeding, injury or pain that can signal an infection need treatment right away.

Issues that require urgent dental care include:

  • Abscess (swollen tissue that has accumulated pus)
  • Dental injury, such as a knocked out tooth or tooth fracture
  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding
  • Severe pain, especially in the wisdom teeth

How do you care for a dental emergency while you call your dentist? Below are some tips to make the situation easier for your child before they see the dentist:

  • Give ibuprofen for pain. Do not give aspirin since this can cause excessive bleeding.
  • Apply an ice pack or cold compress.
  • Rinse the mouth with warm water.
  • Collect any broken parts of the tooth. Make sure your child does not swallow them.
  • If a tooth is knocked out, gently rinse the tooth with water, holding it from the crown and not the root. Try to gently place the tooth back into the socket and hold. If this does not work, keep the tooth immersed in milk or saliva until you can see the dentist.
  • Keep gauze, a handkerchief, pain medication and your dentist’s phone number in a first aid pack.

The dentist will be able to determine the severity of your child’s dental trauma and begin treatment right away. A Kool Smiles staff member can assist you in quickly finding a dentist if you don’t have one already.

Should I Call My Dentist or 911?

Statistics show that over the course of a decade, emergency room visits for dental pain rose by one million patients. Unfortunately, ER doctors cannot perform dental services. Only a licensed dentist can perform dentistry.

An ER doctor can provide pain medication and antibiotics for serious infections but is not prepared to provide urgent dental care. However, if your child has excessive bleeding that won’t stop with gentle pressure, very severe pain or an infection, you should dial 911 and seek medical attention immediately.

If you think your child needs urgent dental care, speak to a Kool Smiles professional staff member at 254-781-0553 to be directed to a dentist. A Kool Smiles dentist can assess and fix the damage and refer your child to a specialist if needed.

Will My Dentist Be Able to See My Child Right Away?

Although you shouldn’t count on being able to see a dentist right away if your child needs immediate dental care, many dentists do make room in their schedules in case of emergencies.

Kool Smiles knows that emergencies aren’t planned, and you might need care outside of regular business hours. If you need urgent dental care after normal workday hours, Kool Smiles can refer you to the dentist on call. For accidents that do happen during business hours, you should call ahead of time to let the office know that you are coming.

Most Kool Smiles dentists are open on Saturdays and have weekday evening hours. So, if you cannot take time off from work, help may still be available after normal business hours.

Handsome hispanic man with a perfect white smile isolated on a blue background with copy space.

Urgent Dental Care That Fits Your Budget

You shouldn’t have to worry about how you are going to pay for dental care when immediate treatment is necessary, especially if your kid is in pain. Kool Smiles offers affordable dental services even if you are uninsured.

Accepted Payment Options for Dentistry Services

With the cost of fillings starting at $100, dental crowns at $250 and root canals at $500, accessing low-cost, urgent dental care can be stressful for many families. That’s why Kool Smiles accepts many forms of insurance and payment.

Here is what we accept:

  • Private insurance
  • Medicaid
  • TRICARE
  • CHIP
  • Various state-specific insurance plans
  • Military insurance
  • Cash
  • Debit Cards
  • Credit Cards
  • CareCredit healthcare credit card

You don’t have to be insured to receive safe, quality treatment during a dental crisis. You can use credit or CareCredit to pay for dental services through an affordable, monthly payment plan.

Does Medicaid Cover Immediate Dental Care?

Are you worried that your insurance will not cover your child’s urgent dental care? Kool Smiles accepts unlimited Medicaid patients, and Medicaid is required to cover all emergency dental services for children.

Covered urgent care includes:

  • Controlling bleeding from dental injury or trauma
  • Relieving severe pain
  • Treating infections
  • Restoring teeth and tooth maintenance

Medicaid will cover medically necessary services for your child, but coverage may vary from state to state on orthodontic care and other specialized treatment. Adults with Medicaid in some states may not be covered for any dental services, however, so you should check your state’s scope of coverage.

Female dentist showing the young boy artificial jaw at the dental office

Beyond Urgent Dental Care: Finding a Kool Smiles General or Pediatric Dentist

Utilizing your dentist solely for accidents or pain will not improve your child’s overall oral health. Tooth decay, gum disease and other serious dental problems will continue to occur without continual maintenance. Complex emergency services can cost you and your family more in healthcare bills than simple, regular, preventative care.

Schedule Regular Dentist Appointments

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), almost 20% of children aged 5 to 19 have untreated dental caries (cavities or tooth decay). This is an epidemic that can be easily treated with access to inexpensive dental cleanings and early diagnosis of problems.

Kool Smiles general dentists and pediatric dentists care about your family’s health. They will use their expertise to coordinate a comprehensive treatment plan, educating you and your family the entire way.

Our dentists can work with any child from infant to teenager. Our office environment is designed to be fun and comforting to your child, whether they are visiting for a regular checkup or urgent dental care.

Preventing Dental Emergencies at Home

Is your child active? Do you often cheer them on from the stands at soccer or softball games? One of the main causes of dental trauma is participation in sports and playtime activities. You can reduce the likelihood of dental trauma by taking the following precautions with your children:

  • Supervise your children during bike rides and other physical activities. Make sure that they are not doing anything to risk an unnecessary fall or hit to the face.
  • Have your kids wear mouthguards during sports to prevent fractured or knocked out teeth.

You can also instill good oral habits to prevent damage to the teeth:

  • Visit the dentist every six months to prevent cavities and gum disease.
  • Encourage your child to cut plastic and other packaging with scissors rather than their teeth.
  • Do not let children run around with objects in their mouth, such as a pencil or toothbrush.
  • Block dangerous areas in the home from young children and remove trip hazards.
  • Develop a brushing routine twice per day that includes flossing and fluoride toothpaste.

You can play a major role in your kid’s oral health by setting an example of proper dental hygiene. You can also reduce the likelihood of an accident by creating a safe environment in the home.

Preventing Serious Health Issues Caused by Gum Disease

Damage to the teeth isn’t the only issue that should be cause for concern. Gingivitis and periodontitis are both types of gum disease caused by plaque and tartar around the teeth and gums.

If your child has the following symptoms, they may be developing gum disease:

  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath that doesn’t improve
  • Pus around the teeth
  • Hot and cold sensitivity

While these symptoms may not warrant immediate dental care or a trip to the ER, tackling these issues early can prevent serious complications later in life. Regular check-ups and cleanings at Kool Smiles along with proper oral hygiene practices at home will help prevent these problems from developing in the first place.

Bring Your Child to Kool Smiles for Urgent Dental Care

You should never be afraid to visit a dentist during a dental emergency because of your income or form of insurance. The friendly staff at Kool Smiles and our kid-friendly dentists are prepared to handle urgent dental care and help make it affordable to everyone. We offer extended weekday hours as well as appointments on Saturday for dental emergencies or other services when normal business hours are inconvenient.

You no longer have to put off that crucial dentist appointment. Kool Smiles has locations across the country with over 120 offices in areas where other dental clinics are hard to find. For more dental emergency tips, and to find a kid-friendly dentist near you, call us today at 254-781-0553 and schedule an appointment.

And remember, if there is a serious medical emergency, call 911.

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Sources:

Colgate: colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/dental-emergencies-and-sports-safety/do-you-need-emergency-dental-care-0113

Academy of General Dentistry: knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=E&iid=185&aid=1239

American Dental Association: ada.org/en/public-programs/action-for-dental-health/er-referral

Mouth Healthy: mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/dental-emergencies

CareCredit: carecredit.com/dentistry/

Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation: kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/access-to-dental-care-in-medicaid-spotlight-on-nonelderly-adults/

Center for Disease Control: cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/dental.htm

HealthyChildren.org: healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/injuries-emergencies/Pages/Dental-Emergencies.aspx