Dental Trauma

Traumatic Injuries

There are various types of dental trauma. Each needs to be properly assessed and treated, and importantly, in a timely manner. 

Fractured or Chipped Teeth: Some injuries may result in a portion of the tooth structure physically chipping or fracturing off. Depending on whether the nerve is directly involved or exposed, the treatment may be simply restorative care. In cases where the nerve is exposed (or very close to exposure), a proper evaluation is completed, and an appropriate treatment plan formulated. Endodontic care may entail placing biocompatible materials, known as dental pulp capping agents, either indirectly or directly over the nerve, or could require root canal therapy. 

Luxated Teeth: Luxated teeth, or simply put dislodged teeth, can occur when the tooth or teeth are pushed out of position, but not knocked out. A first line therapy is to reposition and stabilize the affected tooth. Depending on the severity of the displacement, the pulp will either remain intact and healthy, or become devitalized. If the pulp remains vital, no endodontic treatment is needed, however the tooth should be monitored. In severe cases of displacement, or in the event the pulp becomes damaged or infected, root canal treatment should be initiated. 

Avulsed Teeth: If a dental injury causes a tooth to be knocked out, you need to be treated immediately. Time is a critical factor in the ability for the tooth to be saved. If a tooth is avulsed, keep it in a medium such as milk, save-a-tooth (HBSS), or even your own saliva. If you can, the best recommendation is to put the tooth back into the socket. Once the tooth is placed back into the socket, root canal treatment is typically started within a week or two. Factors such as how long the tooth was out of your mouth, storage medium, and stage of root development will all influence the type of endodontic treatment you receive.