Traumatic Mouth & Teeth Injuries
If you or your child hits or bumps a tooth, please contact our office immediately. Sometimes, we have as little as thirty minutes to react. If the tooth is knocked out, store the tooth in milk, a tooth saving kit, or in your mouth without cleaning it.
Injuries to the mouth can cause teeth to be dislodged or moved from their normal position. 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 to help prevent resorption from occurring. Eventually, a permanent root canal filling will be placed.
If an injury causes a tooth to be completely knocked out of your mouth, it is important, that you are seen by a dentist immediately! If this happens, keep the tooth moist. If possible, put it back into the socket. A tooth can be saved if it remains moist. You can even put the tooth in milk or a glass of water. The two most important things are time (within thirty minutes) and not cleaning the root surface and keeping it moist.
Injuries in Children
An injured immature tooth may need one of the following procedures to improve the chances of saving the tooth (these procedures are currently done at our office).
In teeth where indicated, the pulp tissue is covered with medication to encourage continued growth of the root. If successful, the walls of the root canal will thicken and the apex of the root will develop. The more mature the root system becomes, the better the chance to save the tooth. If the pulp heals, no additional treatment will be necessary; otherwise, root canal treatment may be indicated once the root has completely developed.
In the event that the root has not completed development, and the pulp tissue has become infected, apexification is the treatment of choice. The unhealthy pulp is removed, and the doctor places medications into the root canal 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.