Trauma to a Front Tooth

The majority of these injuries are minor - chipped teeth. It’s less common to dislodge your tooth or have it knocked completely out but these injuries are more severe. Treatment depends on the type, location and severity of each injury. Regardless of the extent of the injury, your tooth requires immediate examination by a dentist. Sometimes, your neighboring teeth suffer an additional, unnoticed injury that can only be detected by a thorough dental exam.

A chipped tooth can generally be restored quite successfully. If chipping is minor and doesn’t extend into the tooth’s pulp, it can often be treated by cosmetic bonding at a scheduled office visit. If more of the tooth’s structure is missing, a dental crown and/or other treatments may be needed.

If a tooth is broken off or deeply fractured (cracked), it should receive professional treatment within 12 hours. The chances of saving it depend on where the break occurred, how severe it is, and the overall condition of the tooth’s pulp (nerve tissue) and the surrounding area in the jaw. Treatment may include splinting, root canal therapy or extraction, depending on the circumstances—but timely care can help bring about the best outcome.

If a tooth is displaced (loose), push the tooth back into its original position using very light finger pressure, bite down so the tooth does not move and call your dentist or visit the emergency room. Your dentist may splint the tooth in place to the two healthy teeth next to the loose tooth.

For an avulsed (knocked-out) tooth, pick the tooth up by the crown, not by the root – handling the root may damage the cells necessary for bone re-attachment and hinder the replant. If the tooth cannot be replaced in its socket on site, do not let the tooth dry out. Place it in a container with a lid and use milk or saliva. Visit the dentist as soon as possible – the longer the tooth is out of the mouth, the less likely the tooth will be able to be saved.

Prevention is always best.  If playing sports, a mouthguard will help protect your teeth. See your general dentist in Evansville, IN for more information.

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