Snaggle Tooth

Posted by on March 7, 2011

Oops  - Dislocated ToothToday at school Miles and another boy were playing on the playground and he smashed his right front tooth on the head of another boy. I got a call from the school and they wanted us to pick him up and take him to see a doctor. Stac wasn’t feeling well so I left work to pick him up at school.

Attempting to get to his school brought up some of the frustrations of getting around in Beijing. I had a print out of a map and address from BCIS’s website, but it was super teeny. Too small to really see. The first taxi couldn’t even read it and was really bothered to have the trouble of trying to take a foreigner to a place he couldn’t find. I tried calling the school’s reception on the phone and having her explain to him how to get there, but the line was busy and they didn’t answer. I apologized and got out of the cab. I walked out to the street to get another cab. I got in and kept trying to call the school to no avail. Finally I called our translator guy, Robert to explain to the Taxi driver how to get there. Even though I had the address and could pull up the location on maps using the iPhone and the GPS. My Chinese is still just rusty enough to not be able to tell him how to get there (need to work on that!). And showing the taxi driver the map on the iPhone rarely works. Most of them have very little geo-spatial sensibility of maps and how to relate their physical perception of Beijing to a two dimensional representation. Even though the map is in Chinese, with street names being labeled with the Chinese characters, I’ve had several Taxi drivers tell me “kan bu dong”, I can’t visually understand it. Robert explained how to get there and off we went.

Midway Through ConstructionI picked Miles up and his mouth and it was bleeding quite a bit. I signed him out and we went out front to wait for Mr. Wang (our driver) who Robert had called to pick us up. I called the Vista Clinic and made him an appointment for 12:30. We made it around 12:25. The Dr.Zhang Hui, examined the tooth and it was dislocated, pulled it from its socket by around 4 millimeters. She took an X-ray to see if the roots were cracked at all. They weren’t so she said what they would do is give him a shot for pain, and then push the tooth back up into the socket. They would then secure the dislocated tooth to the two adjacent teeth to hold it up. She did this by stopping the bleeding, cleaning his two adjacent teeth and building up some small dental blobs and attached wires to them. Finally she attached a wire and blob to the dislocated tooth and pushed it up with the cement dried.

Handiwork CompleteHe can’t chew on it, and must eat small cut up pieces on his back teeth. She wants us to see him back in a couple of weeks. She noted that there was a 20% chance the tooth will retake, but more than likely we’d need to do a root canal. Have to wait and see.

3 Responses to Snaggle Tooth

  1. BWJones

    Oh no… Poor kid. Best wishes to him.

  2. Heather in WA State

    We just went through this with my 11 year old daughter. She was running on the playground, another kid dashed in front of her suddenly, and she fell forward so quickly, with such momentum, that she didn’t have time to break her fall and landed face first onto the asphalt. In addition to dislocating the tooth, she also sustained a concussion and was throwing up throughout the night and into the next day. She took a weeks’ worth of antibiotics and anti-inflamatory with the hope that her body would not reject the tooth. After a few weeks of wait and see, it became obvious she needed a root canal. You can read about it here:

    I sure hope Miles has a different outcome, but I’d prepare yourself for the worst given those photos you posted. Is he on antibiotics as well as an anti-inflamatory? Our endodontist said that combination can really increase the odds of retaining a tooth after a dislocation. It’s very easy for an infection to brew in the swollen tissue and unseen in the space around the root, causing the tooth to drop out entirely. Do your best to keep his pain under control. I failed miserably in that area with my poor daughter, and I feel horrible about it.

    Good Luck!

    • mbg

      The worst part for Miles was when he had to get the shot. He started whimpering and crying. That is when I sat next to him and held his hand. The doctor first numbed his gum so he wouldn’t feel the shot as much and then I covered his eyes and the other assistant held his head while she gave him a shot. He cried a bit, but tried to be as brave as possible. I worry if he does have to get a canal what it’ll be like. The Dr. had to file down the temporary braces on each tooth and Miles didn’t even want her to use the drill. Regarding anti-inflammatory and antibiotics, he is not on any but it is a good suggestion. I will as Dr. Zhang about it.

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