110 Polaris Parkway Ste. 120
Westerville, Ohio 43082
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Dental Emergencies

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Dental Emergencies:

“Dental trauma can be stressful, but I will be there for you and your family. I understand the importance of timely treatment.”

My emergency phone is always available to you.  614-392-5911.

Dental trauma cases are dear to me. My personal dental trauma experience led me to dentistry, specifically pediatric dentistry. Wrestling with 2 of my brothers resulted in my front tooth bumping into one brother’s forehead. I will never forget that moment. The immediate tongue swelling and tooth position made me feel that my front tooth was a goner. This was a front tooth, and how would a ten-year-old ever get a girlfriend now? I can still remember when my oldest brother, a pediatric dentist, walked outside and helped reposition my tooth. I recall my brother soothing my fears and reassuring my concerns. This was a defining moment. Timely dental treatment, root canal therapy, and orthodontics led to the confident smile that I’m proud of today. After dental school, I worked in a hospital for a couple of years. As a result, I have treated many similar trauma cases. My goal is to translate the same timely dental treatment with a soothing and reassuring attitude.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth:


  • First, call our office immediately! 614-392-5911
  • Grab the crown part, and avoid touching the root.
  • Rinse tooth for a few seconds with cold water only. No soap or scrubbing.
  • Best treatment: Place tooth back in the socket, bite on a clean cloth and come straight to the office.
  • Other option: Place tooth in cup or bag of cold milk. Avoid storing in water.
  • The faster the tooth is reimplanted in the mouth, the better.
  • Time is a critical factor.

Knocked Out Baby Tooth:

  • Contact our office immediately.
  • Baby teeth should not be replanted due to possible damage to the developing permanent tooth.
  • In most cases, no treatment is necessary.
  • An x-ray is needed to verify all tooth parts are removed.
  • Generally, no space maintainer is required.

Chipped/Fractured Permanent Tooth:

  • Time is a critical factor, contact us immediately.
  • Same day treatment can reduce the chance of infection or the need for extensive dental treatment in the future.
  • The broken piece can be brought in to help build the tooth back to normal.

Chipped/Fractured Baby Tooth:

  • Contact us as soon as possible.
  • Check to make sure the tooth hasn’t moved.
  • An x-ray is needed to check for root fractures and pulp exposure.
  • The tooth will feel bruised, so Tylenol and Advil can help.

Severe Injury to the Head:

  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Head injuries are more important than tooth injuries.
  • Look for signs of your child losing consciousness, memory loss, nausea and vomiting, or seizures.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek:

  • Apply firm pressure with a tissue or cloth to control bleeding.
  • Apply ice to injured areas to help control swelling.
  • Large and deep cuts may require stitches.
  • Children often chew their lips and tongue for the first few hours after a dental procedure due to the numbing effect. Watch your child to avoid this from occurring.
  • Tylenol and Advil/Motrin can help.
  • Healing takes some time.

Simple pressure should resolve the bleeding, but if it does not, call Dr. Richards or visit the hospital emergency room.


Sometimes, the child can point to the bothersome tooth.

  • Clean the affected tooth with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Use dental floss to remove any food causing pressure between teeth.
  • If the pain still persists, contact us.
  • Do not place aspirin or topical anesthetic like Orajel. Over-use of Orajel can lead to toxicity.
  • Contact us immediately if the face is swollen.
  • Check for a fever, signs of an earache, sinus infection or obvious overall sickness.
  • Oftentimes, “canker sores” can mimic tooth pain.

Canker Sores:

  • Canker sores can hide under the tongue, on the cheeks or gums, which may cause problems with swallowing.
  • The sores look like white blisters surrounded by a red halo.
  • Liquid Children’s Motrin or Tylenol can be given as needed to control discomfort. Children’s Motrin is preferred due to improved pain relief and reduction in inflammation. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dosage.
  • A soft diet (cold liquids and bland foods) is recommended until child can chew without hurting. Some examples include a Pediasure (packed with nutrients), milkshake using a spoon, ice cream, popsicle, ice chips, mashed potatoes, eggs, Jell-O, yogurt, pudding, and applesauce.
  • Warm salt walter rinses can help.
  • Most heal within 7-10 days.