Dental trauma is defined as a serious injury or condition that affects your teeth or other parts of your mouth. Though this may sound extreme, certain traumatic incidents actually do not need to be treated right away. Always give us a call to determine this, though. Two common types of dental trauma are tooth displacement or total loss, but there are a wide variety of conditions that would fall under these categories. Oral & Facial Surgery details information about dental trauma.
Common Occurrences of Dental Trauma
One of the most serious types of dental trauma that we treat is a tooth that has been fully knocked out of its socket. This is a serious incident because the tooth must be placed back immediately if there is any chance of tooth survival. We often treat patients who have fractured tooth roots, tooth displacement, and other types of dental injuries as well.
Sometimes, our patients experience symptoms of dental trauma without knowing that the condition is serious. If you experience these symptoms, you should let us know right away. For instance, this includes a severe toothache combined with fever, which are signs of serious infection. Dental abscesses and chips, though they can be minor issues, can lead to severe infection as well. Objects can also be caught between the teeth or a dental restoration can become damaged, both of which are conditions that can lead to infection.
First Aid for Dental Trauma
Always give us a call at the first sign of dental trauma so we can instruct you on any first aid techniques. Lost teeth should be placed back in their socket if possible, but you should not force it into place as this could cause more damage. Instead, place the tooth in salt water or milk and bring it to us. Chips and fractures can be initially treated with gauze if there is bleeding, and ice if there is swelling. We may also tell you to take over-the-counter pain medicine for certain traumas. We will also instruct you how to protect a broken restoration until it can be fixed.
Office Treatment for Dental Trauma
The exact treatment differs depending on the specific trauma and your medical history. Lost teeth will be sanitized, as will the gums before they are placed into their socket. We use a splint to stabilize them. This encourages the tooth to reattach its root, though this does not always work. In some cases, dental restoration, such as a crown, is your only option.
Dislocated teeth will need to be examined for fractures before treatment can begin. Once our oral & maxillofacial surgeon confirms that there are no fractures, they will move the tooth into the correct position and splint it like they would with a tooth that was fully removed from the socket. These injuries generally require a follow-up appointment within a few weeks as well as periodic evaluations for signs of infection. For example, the dental pulp could become an infection, causing the need for a root canal or tooth extraction. We also provide instructions for caring for the teeth during recovery.
Call Oral & Facial Surgery in the Lewiston/Clarkston region at 208-743-1640 or in the Moscow/Pullman region at 509-330-5020 to learn more about dental trauma.