Traumatic dental injury frequently occurs due to a sports injury or accident. Most of these types of injuries are minor, such as with chipped teeth. It’s not as common to dislodge or knock your tooth out completely, but they can occur and they are more severe. Treatment depends on the location, type, and severity of each injury.
Your tooth will require immediate dental examination by our endodontist, Dr. Robert McBride, DDS at Colorado Root Canal Specialists, regardless of the extent of your injury. In some cases, your surrounding teeth could suffer an unnoticed injury that could only have been detected by having a comprehensive dental exam.
Types of Dental Trauma
There are a variety of dental trauma types. Dr. McBride specializes in treating dental trauma cases. With his advanced techniques, skills, and technologies, he can often save injured teeth. Here are some types of dental trauma Dr. McBride can help treat.
1. Fractured or Chipped Teeth
Chipped teeth make up most of all dental injuries. Dr. McBride can repair most fractured or chipped tooth crowns either by placing a tooth-colored filling or reattaching the broken piece. If a substantial part of the crown is broken off, Dr. McBride might need to restore the tooth with an artificial cap or crown.
2. Knocked-Out Teeth
If you knock your tooth out of your mouth completely, you’ll want to come into our office immediately. The length of time your tooth stays out of your mouth will determine our chances of saving it. Dr. McBride will place your tooth back in your socket and will place a stabilizing splint for several weeks.
3. Root Fractures
A traumatic tooth injury might also occur in a horizontal root fracture. The fracture’s location determines your tooth’s long-term health. If the fracture is near the tip of the root, there is a much better chance for success. You have a poorer chance for long-term success the closer the fracture is to your gum line. Splint stabilization is sometimes required for a certain time period.
4. Pediatric Dental Trauma
Dr. McBride can aesthetically restore chipped baby (primary) teeth. In rare cases, dislodged baby teeth can be repositioned. But, baby teeth that have been knocked out usually aren’t replanted because replanting a primary tooth might cause further, permanent damage to the permanent tooth underneath that’s growing inside the bone.
Kid’s permanent teeth that aren’t completely developed at the time the injury occurred require special attention and follow-up, however, not all will require a root canal. With an immature permanent tooth, the supply of blood to the tooth and the stem cell presence in the area might enable Dr. McBride to stimulate continued root growth.
5. Dislodged (Luxated) Teeth
When there’s an injury, a tooth might be pushed out of or into its socket sideways. Dr. McBride will reposition your tooth and stabilize it. You’ll likely require root canal treatment for permanent dislodged teeth. This treatment should begin several days after your injury.
6. Sports-Related Dental Trauma
Dental trauma makes up a substantial portion of all sports injuries, however, many of these injuries can often be prevented by wearing a high-quality mouthguard.
What To Do in Case of a Dental Trauma
Give Dr. McBride a call as soon as you can after you suffer dental trauma. Bacteria can get into the broken tooth, causing an infection. Dr. McBride might give you an antibiotic medication that will kill the bacteria. He’ll talk with you about ways to repair the tooth. If you knock one or more of your teeth out, see Dr. McBride right away since he might be able to put it back in.
Don’t touch the tooth’s root. Touch only the hard white surface when you pick it up. Rinse the tooth with water but don’t place it under running water. Add clean water to a container or your hand and place the tooth in there. Don’t brush or scrape the tooth to clean it since that could cause further damage to your tooth.
After you rinse the tooth, place the tooth back in your mouth while you make your way to our office. Try and put the tooth gently back where it belongs or place your tooth between your gum and cheek. By doing this, you’ll keep saliva covering it.
If it’s a child’s tooth, place it in a cup of milk or water after rinsing. Bring it to our office.
Dental Trauma Follow-Ups
Once Dr. McBride begins the initial treatment of your dental trauma, it’s important you keep your follow-up appointments. He might want to have you come in every few weeks in the beginning to ensure a favorable prognosis. Then you’ll come in every few months thereafter so he can monitor the healing progress. It’s essential you follow all instructions Dr. McBride provides you carefully (i.e. maintaining a soft diet, avoiding contact sports, etc.).
Preventing Dental Trauma
Prevention is always key. Use face cages, mouth guards and helmets when playing sports to decrease your risk of dental trauma. Of course, accidents happen, and we understand. That’s why we’re here to help manage them.