SEVERE INJURIES TO THE TEETH
What are Traumatic Injuries?
Injuries to the mouth can cause teeth to be pushed back into their sockets. Your endodontist or general dentist may reposition and stabilize your tooth. Root canal treatment is usually started within a few weeks of the injury and a medication, such as calcium hydroxide, will be placed inside the tooth. Eventually, a permanent root canal filling will be placed.
Sometimes a tooth may be pushed partially out of the socket. Again, your endodontist or general dentist may reposition and stabilize your tooth. If the pulp remains healthy, then no other treatment is necessary. However, if the pulp becomes damaged or infected, root canal treatment will be required.
Avulsed teeth are commonly known as "knocked-out teeth". If an injury causes a tooth to be completely knocked out of your mouth, it is important that you are treated immediately! Contact your general dentist or endodontist right away. Meanwhile these are the steps you should take to save your tooth:
1. Pick up the tooth by the crown (the chewing surface) NOT the root.
2. If dirty, gently rinse the tooth with water.
3. If possible, reposition the tooth in the socket immediately.
4. Keep the tooth moist.
5. See an endodontist or nearest available dentist within 30 minutes of the injury.
For more details on the steps to take to save your tooth if it is knocked out, please click HERE.
Injuries in Children
An injured immature tooth may need one of the following procedures to improve the chances of saving the tooth. An injured immature tooth may need one of the following procedures to improve the chances of saving the tooth: apexogenesis or apexification.
This procedure encourages the root to continue development as the pulp is healed. Soft tissue is covered with medication to encourage growth. The tip of the root (apex) will continue to close as the child gets older. In turn, the walls of the root canal will thicken. If the pulp heals, no additional treatment will be necessary. The more mature the root becomes, the better the chance to save the tooth.
In this case, the unhealthy pulp is removed. The doctor places medication into the root to help a hard tissue form near the root tip. This hardened tissue provides a barrier for the root canal filling. At this point, the root canal walls will not continue to develop, making the tooth susceptible to fractures, so it is important to have the tooth properly restored by your dentist.