Traumatic Dental Injuries
Traumatic dental injuries can often occur as a result of an accident or sports-related trauma. These injuries can be minor, such as chipped or cracked teeth, or severe, such as dislodged or knocked out teeth. Whether the injury is minor or severe, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible for examination. Treatment of traumatic dental injuries depend on the type and severity of the injury, which will be determined during the initial or follow-up examinations.
Fractured or Chipped Teeth
If you’ve chipped or fractured your tooth, it’s likely it can be repaired with a variety of dental restorations. If a significant part of your tooth is broken off, a crown may be required to restore it. If the pulp is exposed or damaged due to a trauma, root canal treatment will be required. Sometimes, traumatic dental injuries can even affect multiple teeth. Click here to learn more about cracked teeth and fractures.
Dislodged (Luxated) Teeth
During an injury, a tooth may be pushed sideways, out of or into its socket. Your endodontist or general dentist will reposition and stabilize your tooth. If it is determined that there is permanent damage to the root, nerve or blood vessels, they will likely recommend a root canal treatment to prevent the tooth’s discoloration or abscess. This should be started within several days following the injury.
Children ages 12 and under may require special management and treatment since their permanent teeth are still developing.
Your endodontist will monitor the healing carefully and intervene immediately if any unfavorable changes appear. Several follow-up appointments may be needed.
Knocked Out (Avulsed) Tooth
If one of your teeth is completely knocked out of your mouth, see an endodontist or dentist immediately! Time is of the essence and if you receive treatment quickly, there is a chance to save your tooth.
Following a few important steps will help increase the likelihood of saving your tooth. Your endodontist or dentist will evaluate the tooth, place it back in its socket and examine you for another dental and facial injuries. A stabilizing splint may be placed for the next few weeks. Depending on the stage of root development, your dentist or endodontist may start root canal treatment a week or two later.
Important: If a tooth is ever dislodged or knocked-out, immediately reposition the tooth in its original socket and contact an endodontist immediately. If you cannot reposition the tooth, place the tooth in milk and bring it to the examination. Do not attempt to scrub the tooth or wipe it clean. Avoid touching the root surface to prevent further damage to the tooth. In both cases, the tooth can often be saved with proper pre-operative care and endodontic treatment.
At North Shore & Brookline Endodontic, we take the time to thoroughly assess the risk factors in every case. When needed, we use 3D imaging CBCT scans and clinical microscopic examinations to evaluate the case.
For more information regarding traumatic injuries, please visit the American Association of Endodontists.