Tooth trauma can happen to anyone, but dental injuries are especially common among those who play sports. Approximately 13 to 39 percent of all tooth trauma happens during sports games. What should you do when you or your child’s tooth chips, cracks or is knocked out? Read on to find out how to deal with tooth trauma quickly and effectively.
Types of Tooth Injuries
Teeth can suffer damage in a number of ways. First, your tooth may stay in its original position, but crack or chip. Like most injuries, the severity of the break will differ and require varying levels of treatment. If only a small portion of the surface breaks off, the dentist may be able to reattach the fragment or, if it’s not available, construct a patch with filling. If the crack is severe enough to reach and expose the inner pulp, you may need a root canal to guard against infection, and the tooth itself may require extraction or a crown.
Injuries may also result in a misplaced, dislodged tooth. It may have been pushed up into the socket or began to slip out of place. In this situation, dentists may be able to stabilize it until it heals firmly in its original location. The dentist may recommend a root canal, depending on the age of the patient – some children with developing permanent teeth may not require this treatment.
When teeth are knocked out, you must act quickly. If your tooth is speedily transported to the dentist and stored properly along the way, the dentist may be able to place it back in the socket and preserve its life. For knocked-out teeth, root canals are definitely recommended as a step in the healing process.
How to Respond
When a tooth falls out, call your dentist right away to alert him or her to the emergency. Pick up the tooth by its chewing surface – never touch the root. If possible, place it back into its socket and bite down on a piece of gauze to hold it in place until you arrive at the dentist. If the root is dirty, place it in a cup filled with milk or your own saliva. You can also hold it between your tongue and cheek. For fragmented pieces of broken teeth, place them in a cup of milk or saliva as well to preserve them during transport to the dentist.
It is vital for everyone to have a dentist on call in case of a tooth trauma emergency, but it is even more important for those who play sports regularly. Act fast when faced with a tooth trauma emergency and call Oak Hills Dentistry for immediate, professional care.