Posts for: April, 2012
· An ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure!
With Spring, comes warmer weather, kids playing outside, vacation and summer sports. In dentistry, all times of the year can bring unwanted appointments to the dental office for traumatic episodes that can be for anything from a busted lip to tooth injuries or loss from an errant baseball. However, spring and summer bring a larger number of appointments of this nature to our office. Education can be the difference between a fixable situation or a lost tooth/teeth. Knowledge of what to do is a major component in the preparation but the number one helper is prevention. A sports mouth piece is the common method of protection for dental trauma.
There are several variations and severities of dental/facial injuries that can range from an easy dental appointment to a trip to the emergency room. This article will list the most common injuries as well as what to do immediately after the injury that may assist in a more favorable outcome. It will also give insight into treatment at the dental office to fix the injury.
Always go to the Emergency Room first if there is a concussion or head/neck injuries.
Tooth fractures are the most common injury and can range from minor damage (involving chipping of the outer layers of tooth structure called enamel and dentin) to severe, where the fracture extends to the nerve of the tooth and or root fracture. These two layers function to protect the innermost layer or nerve of the tooth. Minor fracture can be repaired from a small colored filling to a crown that would replace larger missing portions of tooth.
A severe fracture is one that exposes the nerve and should be treated promptly. The tooth can sometimes be displaced and loose. If the dentist believes that the nerve has been damaged beyond repair, a root canal may be performed at first visit. If the exposure is minimal, a sedative (healing) filling may be placed over the exposure and then reevaluated in six weeks to follow up on the status of the nerve.
If mobility is present at the first appointment, the dentist may place a splint that attaches the tooth/teeth to adjacent teeth thru bonding to provide strength until healing has occurred.
If the tooth/teeth roots are fractured there is a possibility that the tooth/teeth may have to be extracted. In this case, a re-moveable plate would be needed until healing occurs. After healing, a bridge or implant could placed to replace the missing tooth/teeth.
Teeth that have been knocked out need immediate attention prior to reaching the dentist. If a tooth/teeth are knocked out, you should first rinse of the tooth with water or milk then place the tooth back into their appropriate sockets. There is usually only a 2 hour window to get the tooth back into its proper home. The longer the tooth is out, the less chance that the tooth will retake to bone properly. This gives the best chance of saving these teeth. DO NOT scrub the tooth, only rinse it off well. If replacement is not feasible, then the tooth/teeth should be placed in milk, sterile saline or placed back in the cheek to keep the tooth moist. The moisture will save the tooth from dehydration which allows highest chance of success after replacement. After replacement, the dentist will bond the tooth to the adjacent teeth in order to stabilize it while it heals. Adult teeth that have been knocked out should have root canal treatment within 7-10 days.
Displaced teeth that have been moved toward the tongue, lip or rotated have to repositioned to as close to the original position as possible. These teeth are also bonded to adjacent teeth while healing. If there is change in temperature sensitivity, swelling or spontaneous pain, the nerve may have been damaged causing a need for root canal therapy.
Follow up of traumatized teeth is required long term due to the capability of these teeth to have root or nerve damage in later months or years to follow.
We can help at Prosper Dentistry and Orthodontics, call today for an evaluation if you have concerns or questions related to dental trauma or to schedule for a mouth guard fitting.
DON’T DELAY ~ CALL TODAY
FREE Professional Sports Guard*
with any NEW PATIENT EXAM, CLEANING & X-RAYS
$25.00 Professional Sports Guard*
with any EXISTING PATIENT EXAM, CLEANING, X-RAYS
Call today to get this GRAND SLAM deal!
Offer ends 4-30-12
from your dental team here at
Prosper Dentistry & Orthodontics, PA!
Dentist - Prosper
110 N. Preston Rd., Suite #10
Prosper, TX 75078
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