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Dental Emergencies

Man carrying a crying child

Dental emergencies are a frightening—and often painful—experience for children. If your child has tooth pain, it can be difficult to know how serious the issue is and whether it constitutes an emergency.

If you think you may need an emergency children’s dentist in Western Montana, call Dr. DeLisle at 406-284-8669. Our experienced Children’s Dentistry staff is ready to help. 

Here are some of the most common dental emergencies we treat and the steps you can take to ease your child’s pain before their appointment.


Severe tooth pain is a prevalent emergency in children. It can result from a simple piece of food getting stuck between their teeth or something more serious like a cavity or infection.

To determine the cause, have them wash their mouth with warm water and gently floss their teeth to dislodge any remaining food particles. If the pain persists, call our office to make an appointment with our emergency children’s dentist.


Swelling of the face is a serious emergency that might require you to take your kids to the ER. It can be due to a dental abscess or an infection of the tooth’s root. Left untreated, it can lead to severe toothache, fever, and even difficulty breathing. 

If the symptoms are mild, you can tame the swelling with a cold compress until you visit the dentist. However, if your child is having trouble breathing or the swelling does not go down with a cold compress, call urgent care.

Tooth Sensitivity

If your kids complain about severe tooth sensitivity when drinking or eating something cold or hot, you may need to visit the emergency children’s dentist. They may be suffering from an underlying dental issue like a cavity or an injury that needs treatment. 

Broken Tooth

A broken tooth is more sudden and painful than a baby tooth naturally falling out. Children can break and chip their teeth as a result of a fall or trauma to their jaw. If this tooth pain emergency doesn’t get treated, it can lead to infection and costly restorative dental work. So call us immediately if your child breaks a tooth. Keep the broken piece in a container of milk and bring it to the appointment.

Loose Fillings

Composite fillings can get loose and dislodged. This can leave the underlying tooth vulnerable to decay and infection. Make an appointment with our emergency children’s dentist if you have kids with loose fillings so they can be restored as soon as possible.

Knocked-Out Baby Tooth

Knocked-out baby teeth can sometimes be considered dental emergencies, especially if they’re unexpected and followed by severe bleeding. When this happens, don’t try to place the tooth back in your child’s mouth. Call us and bring the tooth with you to the appointment.

Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth

If your child’s permanent tooth is knocked out, you need to act fast. Find the avulsed tooth, hold it only by the crown, and wash it with lukewarm water. Try placing it back in the socket and ask your child to hold it by biting on a gauze. If this isn’t possible, keep the tooth in a container of milk or saline solution and bring it to the appointment with your emergency children’s dentist.

Teeth Darkening

While darkening is not a tooth pain emergency, it can be a sign of previous trauma and the tooth dying. Schedule an appointment if you see your children’s baby or permanent teeth starting to turn dark.

Mouth Cuts

Accidentally biting the tongue, lips, or cheeks while eating is not uncommon, especially in children. It’s usually not an emergency, and you can control the pain with a cold compress. However, if the bleeding persists, give us a call for an appointment with our emergency children’s dentist.

Call Children’s Dentistry

Learn to recognize the signs of tooth pain emergencies in your children, and don’t hesitate to call us if you notice them. Some emergencies like severe swelling, uncontrolled bleeding, and difficulty breathing require the ER. However, most dental emergencies can be treated here at Children’s Dentistry by Dr. DeLisle. Let us know what’s happened and what symptoms you’ve noticed with your child, and we’ll fit you into the schedule as soon as possible. Call us to schedule your appointment if you have any concerns about your child’s teeth. We’re glad to help.