Many traumatic dental injuries are a result of some type of injury to the face. When emergencies occur, it is important to know what steps to take to have the best chance of saving the tooth. In many cases, swift action makes all the difference. At the office of Dr. Anjum A. Ansari, DMD in Boston, MA, we always ensure that we have appointments available for dental emergencies and are just a phone call away from walking you through the steps you need to take at home before arriving at our office.
Types of traumatic dental injuries
Chipped or Fractured Teeth
In most cases, a broken tooth can be fixed by reattaching the broken piece or by using a tooth-colored dental bonding material. If a large portion of the crown has detached, an artificial dental crown may be needed. If the injury has extended to the pulp chamber of the tooth, a root canal treatment may be necessary to remove the damaged tissue and prevent the need for extraction.
What you can do at home: If you have it, bring the broken piece of tooth with you to the office. If there is sensitivity to cold beverages or it’s painful, biting on moist gauze and placing an ice pack on the outside of the cheek can help until you get to the office.
In some injuries, the tooth may be pushed sideways, but still reside in the socket. When this occurs, the dentist will position the tooth properly and then stabilize it for healing. A root canal will be needed a few days following the traumatic injury.
What you can do at home: Call the office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Use an ice pack on the outside of the cheek for pain or swelling.
When a tooth becomes completely dislodged from the socket, it’s important to seek care right away. The sooner we attempt to replace the tooth into the socket, the better chance the treatment has of being successful. After the tooth has been placed into the socket, a stabilizing splint will be placed. In a few weeks, a root canal may be performed.
What you can do at home: Handle the tooth carefully by the crown and avoid touching the root. Gently rinse the tooth off and try to place it back in the socket if possible. If not, keep the tooth in a glass of milk and bring it with you to the office.