Losing teeth by falling and knocking them out, pushing teeth back into gums, losing part of their teeth, all comes with the territory for under 5’s. Yet, when it happens, it is both heartbreaking and a terrible shock both to the child and the parent. As a parent of an accident prone energy ball, I have been in and out of A&E and can completely relate. One thing I did find difficult was to find a dentist/paediatric unit on the NHS or privately that actually deals with the issue.
The best course of action as it happens is to take your child to the closest A&E. They will give the child a pain killer, swab the blood and try and assess the damage. Now comes the awful part. The only place that will deal with a teeth related issue on the NHS is the Maxillofacial department (popularly known as Max Fax) at the Northwick Park Hospital. The resident in charge of the team when I needed my distraught toddler attended to, tried to dismiss us (possibly to save precious NHS resources) without properly checking the child and seeing what damage may have occurred. He was blasé and had the bedside manner of an apathetic porcupine. But unfortunately not knowing that we could have asked for a referral to the Great Ormand Street Hospital, we had to push through at Northwick Park.
If your child has had the misfortune to have gone through one of these horrendous accidents and you get referred there, make sure you either do some quick research into what has happened so you have some background knowledge and can actually question what they are doing or ask a relative or friend to give you a quick update as you just cannot trust the team to do what is right by your child. They are more bothered about sending people home quickly than actually trying to assess the issue and address the problem. I was told by one of their own nurses that the team regularly send children home refusing to operate and those same children are brought back with infections caused by abscesses etc a few days later and have to be operated. So in effect the poor children whose parents calmly accept what this team say, have to go through the whole trauma twice over.
The other option is to request a referral (which may not always be given) to the private Max Fax team at Great Ormand Street Hospital who are, I am told, considerably more efficient and caring.
Generally though if your child has hurt a milk tooth, there is little that can be done short of having the tooth removed if necessary. Most often, damage to the permanent teeth will be minimal if the tooth/teeth are knocked back into the gums and are removed within a few hours up to 2 days of the accident depending on the extent of the damage.
A few highly recommended dentists are as follows:
Dr. Gaynor Langley
38 Devonshire Street
Telephone : 020 7935 5354
Dr Sara Johnstone
Dawood & Tanner
45 Wimpole Street
Telephone : 020 7935 0080