What are dental injuries?

By Live Dr - Tue Sep 02, 12:52 pm


Dientes by cindylu

What are dental injuries?

Dental trauma occurs when the tooth receives a blow. Teeth can be broken, loosened or knocked out completely. Immediate treatment gives the best possible chance of saving the tooth.

What should you do about dental injuries?

Following an accident involving the face/mouth:

  • check the teeth by looking, or using a finger.

  • locate any missing teeth or fragments of teeth.

  • only touch the crown of the tooth – the part usually visible in the mouth.

  • do not wash or rinse the fragment or tooth with anything, even water.

  • store the fragment or tooth in milk, if possible. If the person is conscious, not shocked and old enough to cooperate, the fragment can be stored in their mouth under the tongue.

  • seek advice from a dentist immediately. A tooth that has been knocked out, or even a broken tooth, has a better chance of being successfully re-implanted if this is done as soon as possible (ideally within half an hour).
  • What can your dentist do?

  • It may be possible to re-implant the tooth if help is sought quickly, the bone is not too badly damaged and the patient is in a fit state for treatment.

  • Milk teeth are not re-implanted as there is a risk of harming the permanent tooth underneath.

  • Soft tissue damage may require stitches.

  • The tooth fragment or a white filling material may be used to rebuild the tooth.

  • A splint is often required to hold a loosened or re-implanted tooth in place.

  • A tetanus booster and/or antibiotics may be required.

  • The tooth will need to be regularly checked and X-rayed.
  • References
    Health Evidence Bulletins Wales: Oral Health. Chapter 7: dental injuries. Welsh Office, 1998

    Based on a text by Jens Kølsen Petersen, dental specialist

Leave a Reply