Traumatic injuries to the teeth and surrounding structures resulting from sports activities or an accident require immediate attention and may require a prolonged recovery period. The entire dental team, including the dentist, specialist, health expert, assistants, and staff, plays an important role in managing emergency dental injuries. The goal is to provide the patient with immediate care and comfort, restore damaged teeth, and improve the long-term prognosis.
Dental injuries can be classified as follows:
- Crown fractures
- Root fractures
- Injuries at rest:
- Alveolar fractures
There are three categories of dental injury treatment: primary, secondary, and tertiary care. Primary care is urgent care that immediately follows an injury. The dental team is in an emergency care setting, quickly assessing the situation, gathering information, obtaining diagnostic X-rays, and making a diagnosis. Treatment includes repairing or replacing broken teeth, splinting broken teeth, or replanting a dislocated tooth. Broken or chipped teeth, with or without pulp exposure, can be treated within 48 hours with a long-term unaffected pulp result.
Secondary care after primary care consists of evaluation and monitoring of the pulp and surrounding structures. Treatment may include endodontic therapy, soft tissue treatment, surgery, restoration, or dental decoration for a young patient.
Professional care is the definitive treatment that can occur years after an injury. May include: fixed partial dentures, dental implants, orthodontics, or autologous organ implants, and treatment of any of the injuries listed above should follow general guidelines.
Dental injuries during sports activities or from an accident can be excruciating. If not treated properly and promptly, these injuries can cause future damage that may not be reversed. Dental health and function are paramount, but cosmetic considerations also have a high priority when an injury occurs to a patient’s cosmetic area. It is also important to take proper care at home after an injury, such as rinsing with chlorhexidine and pain relievers if necessary. Eat a bland diet and brush and floss regularly. In today’s society, activity is common and dental injuries can be a consequence of this. The dental team must be prepared to deal with the resulting injuries.
If an accident or fall causes your teeth to fall out, save them as they can help the dentist put them back in the socket if you can get to them within an hour after your tooth displacement. Dentists recommend that you carry the tooth in a container that contains cell growth medium, milk, or saltwater. This improves the chances of the tooth returning to its socket without much trouble.
If you have a partially dislocated tooth, see an emergency dentist right away. You can apply a cold compress to the affected area to ease the pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also work well for pain relief. Accidents can also lead to crown loss, which may require an immediate visit to the dentist to replace the cap or crown. You may also experience broken orthodontic wires if you’ve had an accident that could be dangerous because it could cause injury to your cheek, tongue, or skin.