Whether caused by a car accident, an unfortunate fall, or a sports injury, traumatic dental injuries can occur in people of all ages and activity levels. When treating a traumatic dental injury, the main goals are to save the teeth at risk of being lost and to restore them to full function as well as normal appearance.
The difference between saving and losing a tooth depends on a rapid response to injury. Tenney Dental is here to help in the moment and provide professional dental care focused on your healing. Below, we lay out some tips on how to prevent injuries and go over the best course of action to take when an injury does occur.
Participating in sports is a popular activity for youth and adults. Yet, sports lead to an increased risk of injury that must be addressed. Dental trauma makes up a significant portion of sports-related injuries. It’s crucial to accept and prepare for the risk of injury.
A high-quality mouthguard is an effective way to combat dental trauma. With the lifetime cost of replacing a permanent tooth potentially exceeding $20,000, a quality mouthguard from a local dentist is one of the best investments you can make in sports equipment.
By using a custom model of your own teeth to offer strong, lightweight, and perfectly fitted protection, mouthguards are shown to reduce the risk of sports-related dental injuries by 60 times. Tenney Dental will discuss your options if you are active in sports.
Chipped teeth are the most common dental injury, according to the American Association of Endodontists. When a tooth has been chipped or fractured, or it is loose/tender to the touch, see a dentist within 12 hours. If possible, locate any pieces of the tooth, as it can be possible to reattach them to the crown with tooth-colored bonding material.
Immediate attention is required when a permanent tooth has been knocked out of its socket (avulsed). First, recover the tooth and avoid touching the root portion. Then if the tooth is dirty, gently clean it off with water before attempting to place the tooth back into its socket. Ensure that the tooth is properly oriented before applying gentle, sustained pressure to the area for five minutes. A wad of wet tissue or gauze can allow you to better grasp the tooth and hold it in place.
If it isn’t possible to replant the tooth, have the patient hold it between his teeth and cheek, place it into a plastic bag with the patient's saliva, or place it into a cup of cold milk. Using gauze if available, control bleeding from the tooth socket by applying pressure to the area. Primary (baby) teeth don’t typically need to be replanted.
When a tooth is knocked out, it is always important to see a dentist or go to the emergency room as soon as possible — typically within 12 hours.
Patients should see a dentist or oral surgeon within six hours of teeth being pushed out of alignment, or partially or fully into the jaw. A careful examination is needed to reveal the extent of damages.
Dental injuries can occur to the gums, tongue, and other soft tissues in the mouth. After an injury, if possible, wash and rinse the area with soap and water before seeing a dentist as soon as possible. Remove any debris or foreign material by hand, if needed.
Should bleeding occur, control it by applying direct, gentle pressure to gauze pads on top of the wound. If bleeding cannot be controlled after 10 minutes, visit an emergency room.