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Home > Dental Conditions > Dental Emergency > Dental Care for Traumatic Dental Injuries
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Dental Care for Traumatic Dental Injuries


Traumatic injuries to the natural teeth represent a common incidence of emergency room visits, and a perplexing problem for physicians, often untrained in the proper management of immediate dental care. After hours emergency dental personnel may not be readily available quickly enough to prevent the unnecessary loss of traumatized anterior teeth.

Completely Avulsed Teeth

Traumatic dental injuries require immediate care.

Adult teeth that have been partially or fully avulsed (luxated) from the mouth require urgent attention. Successful treatment is contingent on the time frame that lapses from the moment of impact to the time of re-implantation of teeth that are completely removed from their sockets. Treatment must commence prior to a dental visit.

If you have an avulsed tooth:

  • Gently rinse the tooth in tap water if grossly contaminated.
  • Do not attempt debridement of the tooth surface.
  • Replace the tooth within its socket with minimum pressure.
  • Remember that precise alignment is not as crucial as a quick response.
  • Obtain immediate dental care.

If circumstances such as contaminated wounds, extensive injuries, or multiple tooth loss preclude re-implantation of the tooth, transport it the dental office in a container of milk, preferably cool temperature. The patient's own saliva or water are secondary choices.

Remember: Time is of the essence. Teeth re-implanted within the first hour have a significantly better prognosis.

Professional treatment usually consists of approximate alignment of the tooth and light stabilization. Further trauma to the tooth and socket should be minimal. Splints are generally maintained for 7-10 days, with no biting force and diet instructions to avoid further disturbance. Root canal treatment is customarily performed two weeks after the injury to reduce the chance of unfavorable pulpal (nerve chamber) responses at a future date.

An assessment of other facial and neurological injuries must always be considered, even if other injuries are not apparent. Lacerations that require sutures must be treated within 24 hours for ideal healing and minimum scar formation. Tetanus updates are often advisable for contaminated oral wounds, especially if a tooth has been re-implanted.

Appropriate documentation may be necessary for legal and insurance considerations.

Remember, only a dentist can diagnose your dental problems and offer the right treatment plan for you. If you need a dentist, call us at 1-866-970-0441 to be connected with one today.

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