Most traumatic dental injuries occur in children, but people of all ages can be affected. Whether the injury is a result of an automobile accident, a sports mishap, an altercation or a bad fall, the severity and type of injury will determine the treatment necessary.
There are a number of common injuries that occur to teeth. Many of them affect the inner soft tissues of the tooth, known as the dental pulp. When the pulp becomes injured or inflamed, root canal treatment may be needed.
Dislodged (Loose) Teeth
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.
Sometimes a tooth may be pushed partially out of the socket. Repositioning and stabilization of the tooth are usually necessary. If the pulp remains healthy, no additional treatment may be needed. If the pulp is injured, your endodontist may need to start root canal treatment.
Avulsed (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. If this type of injury happens to you, be sure to keep the tooth moist. If possible, place the tooth back into its socket. The less time the tooth spends drying out, the better the chance of saving the tooth. Solutions to keep your tooth moist are available at local drug stores. You can also put the tooth in milk or a glass of water with a pinch of salt. The length of time the tooth was out of your mouth and the way the tooth was stored, may influence the type of treatment you receive. Depending on the stage of root development, your endodontist may start root canal treatment.