Do you have fractured, damaged or missing teeth?
Dental trauma to the teeth and the supporting structures encompasses any injury to face, mouth and jaws. Some of the more common facial and dental trauma injuries are related to teeth. The result of such dental injuries may include any or all of the following:
- Fractures to the teeth and jaws
- Displacement of teeth – loose teeth
- Loss of teeth
- Later – discolouration resulting from the death of a tooth pulp
Have you lost a tooth from dental trauma?
If a tooth has been knocked out entirely, the tooth should be placed either in the patient’s mouth in their saliva (if an adult) or in milk and taken to a dentist as quick as possible. Do not attempt to wipe the tooth as you may remove the delicate tissue on the surface of the root that holds the tooth in the jaw. This tissue called the periodontal ligament is vital to the success of reattaching the tooth.
To have the best chance of saving a tooth you need to get to your dentist within 45 minutes of the injury. Your tooth can then be reinserted into the tooth socket and splinted in position for 10 days to allow reattachment of the tooth to the bone. The tooth should not be splinted for longer than this period otherwise damage to the root may occur.
If you have lost a tooth and it cannot be reinserted an alternative form of tooth replacement may be chosen. Such alternatives include a denture, a bridge or an implant. Replacing a missing tooth with an implant helps to restore form and function. The dental implant replaces the tooth root and the implant crown or bridge replaces the visible part of the tooth: giving you a whole tooth replacement.
For a fractured tooth, the placement of a dental crown may strengthen whatever tooth structure remains. Such a crown can be constructed from porcelain, zirconium or a dental gold bonding alloy. A crown may be identical to the previous natural tooth structure.
Serious facial trauma
Dental trauma damage to the bone around the teeth must be carefully assessed. Fractures of the facial bones may require repositioning and fixation using plates and screws. Such treatment remains in the domain of a maxillofacial surgeon to whom Dr. Priestland refers such patients.