What is dental trauma?
The mouth is a prominent part of the face. With any type of trauma, structures within the oral cavity are frequently damaged, such as the lips, teeth, gums, tongue, and jaw bones. Up to one-third of adults have experienced trauma to the teeth. Commonly encountered injuries include loss of a tooth, broken teeth, or malpositioned teeth.
Why should I seek treatment?
Dental trauma can cause severe pain and loss of speech and chewing functions. The aesthetics of a beautiful smile can also be compromised if the front teeth are involved. Given that most dental trauma happens in the younger population, leaving traumatized teeth untreated may cause many long-lasting consequences later in life.
What are the treatment options?
Cuts or abrasions to the soft tissue may need to be stitched and repaired. Simple dental fractures can easily be fixed with dental fillings. More complicated dental fractures may require root canal treatment to remove the tooth's pulp, followed by a dental crown to restore and protect the fractured tooth.
Severe dental injuries will require extractions, followed by dentures, bridges, or dental implants. Teeth that have shifted in position or are loose after injury may require a period of splinting, where the injured tooth is fixed to adjacent teeth for support during healing.
If the tooth is knocked out of the socket, rinse the tooth gently and replace the tooth back into the socket or keep it in saline or milk, and immediately visit your nearest dentist for an assessment. The avulsed tooth may be salvageable with a period of splinting or may not be replanted if the prognosis is poor.
Discuss with your surgeon or dentist to decide which treatment is best for you.
What to expect after treatment?
Close follow-up with a general dentist or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon after dental trauma is critical for good outcomes.