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<< Emergency Department Management of Dental Trauma: Recommendations for Improved Outcomes in Pediatric Patients (Trauma CME)

Points and Pearls Digest

Points and Pearls Excerpt

  • The first step in assessing dentition is to determine whether the patient has primary or permanent dentition, or both. Primary teeth are more milky-white in color with a smooth incisor edge. It is very uncommon for children aged < 5 years to have permanent teeth.
  • Assess each tooth for: (1) fracture, (2) pulp exposure, (3) an empty socket, (4) displacement, (5) mobility, and (6) percussion tenderness.
  • If there are missing teeth or tooth fragments, consider ordering radiographs to rule out aspiration or foreign body displacement. 
  • If there is clinical concern for an alveolar bone fracture (mobility and dislocation of multiple continuous teeth), order dental radiographs. If panoramic x-ray is unavailable, consider a maxillofacial CT scan.
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