Accidents happen; that is a fact of life. Dental traumas/injuries can happen to anyone at any age. It is important to have any dental injury examined by a dentist as soon as possible. At your appointment, your dentist will examine your soft tissues (gum, lips, cheeks, etc.) and neighboring teeth. He or she will take an x-ray to assess your injury and recommend appropriate treatment. Sometimes treatment is as simple as smoothing out a chip. Other times injured teeth may require more extensive interventions, such as a root canal. Below you will find some commonly seen dental traumas/injuries. Please remeber that with any dental trauma/injury, it is important to contact your dentist as soon as possible.
Chipped or broken teeth are the most commonly seen dental trauma/injuries. If a chip to a tooth is small, it may just need to be smoothed. Larger chips or fractures may require the placement of fillings to restore the missing portion of the tooth. If your tooth has a larger portion missing, it may require a root canal and/or crown to retore its form and function.
A disloged (luxated) tooth occurs when trauma moves a tooth around its socket. The tooth may be pushed to the side, forwards, backwards, upwards, or downwards. Your dentist will assess the tooth for possible root canal therapy, and he or she may also recommend repositioning and stabilizing the tooth with a splint.
If your tooth is knocked-out (avulsed), immediate attention is necessary. If there are other injuries requiring medical attention, proceed to the emergency room. If the trauma ocurred only to your mouth/tooth, call your dentist immediately. Gently rinse your tooth with water. Do not scrub or brush the tooth, and try to avoid touching its root. If possible and an adult tooth, replace the tooth into its socket. Do not try to replace a primary/baby tooth; this may affect the developing adult tooth. If not possible, place the tooth in a container with cold milk or saliva. Bring the tooth with to your appointment. Your tooth may require root canal therapy and a stabilizing splint.