What to do in a Dental Emergency

Accidents Happen – Now What do I Do?

Accidents happen, and when the teeth and associated bone is damaged due to a facial trauma or injury, at NQ Surgical Dentistry we can help…

Have you suffered fractured, damaged or lost teeth? Accidents are sadly unavoidable and happen every day to people all over Australia. Facial and dental injuries are a frequent result of sports, falls, and fights resulting in:

  • Fractured teeth
  • Displaced teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth loss
  • Discoloured tooth

If you have been in an accident and sustained dental injuries, it is best to seek immediate dental care by finding your nearest dentist, looking in Yellow Pages for the Australian Dental Association On Call Dentist (a roster of local dentists) or going to the hospital emergency department. Many underestimate what constitutes a dental emergency, and feel that because it is in the mouth, it is not important.

However, following oral injuries, an infection may follow and hence antibiotics are advisable to try to prevent this taking place. Remember the mouth cavity has the greatest bacterial count and widest spectrum of organisms of any site in the human body.

 

If you have lost a tooth due to trauma, time is of the essence…

If you have lost a tooth because of a physical trauma such as a punch, knock or even a fall, it is important to find the tooth as quickly as possible.

When you find the tooth, pick it up by the CROWN NOT THE ROOT as touching the root can damage the cells and fibres on the root surface and ruin any chances for re-attachment of the tooth to the tooth socket. If the tooth is heavily soiled, it can be very gently cleaned with your saliva or milk and then it should be immediately re-inserted into the socket from which it has been lost taking care to place it back the right way round!

You have limited time before the fibres and cells on the root will die if the tooth is not back in place. You need to see a dentist urgently. There is no absolute rule regarding timing but as soon as possible is best. If you feel unable to replace the tooth yourself, the alternatives are placed it in your mouth keeping it hydrated with saliva thereby preserving the live cells and the integrity of the fibres.

Call our practice in Townsville or your nearest dentist as soon as you can. The tooth can then be checked for position or inserted if you could not do that yourself. The dentist will then splint the tooth in place for 10 days. This period of splinting allows the reattachment of the tooth but then the splint much be removed to allow normal tooth movement to occur or else the tooth may become damaged and you may suffer from root resorption (eating away of the root surface) or ankylosis of the root (damaging immovable bonding of the root to the bone without any intervening fibres to allow for normal tooth movement).

Lesser dental injuries may involve only a partial loss of the tooth where it moves in the socket and needs to be pushed back into place. This should be done very soon after the injury. The longer it is left, the less likely it is that the tooth will go back into place.

Teeth can be fractured at various levels from the crown of the tooth right down to the root of the tooth. Each fracture needs careful assessment to offer the best treatment and therefore the best chance of keeping the tooth long-term

When some teeth are damaged, the trauma can result in the tooth losing its blood supply and consequently the live tissue in the pulp of the tooth dies, it can then become infected leading to an infection or tooth abscess and the tooth may discolour.

 

At NQ Surgical Dentistry we are able to assess and treat dental trauma…

If your accident has caused damage to the bone around the teeth, the local structures must be very carefully assessed and treated by re-positioning and fixing it in place to allow healing. Fractures of the jaws, eye socket or the cheekbone must be diagnosed then assessed for the need for surgical fixation by an Oral and Maxillo-facial Surgeon. Attendance at the hospital emergency department will ensure you are appropriately checked and assessed.

To obtain an assessment, after dental injuries/facial trauma or to book a consultation with our friendly team in Townsville, please do not hesitate to contact the friendly team at NQ Surgical Dentistry today.

 (07) 4725 1656 or call in to see us at 183 Kings Rd, Pimlico 

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