Dental traumas are unpredictable and should be treated as quickly as possible. Severe cases require an endodontist, who is a dentist who specializes in treating situations that need immediate attention, such as an infected tooth, and major injuries, such as a split. Some situations affect only one tooth, while others involve multiple teeth.
At the office of Linda Ricks, DDS, MS, PC, we offer patience and compassion to all of our patients, especially those dealing with a dental emergency. We know it’s natural to feel uneasy when you come through our doors in that type of situation.
The treatment and longevity of a traumatized tooth depend on the injury’s type, location and severity. Here are some situations people encounter.
Some injuries force a tooth sideways or into or out of its socket. An endodontist will change the tooth’s position and stabilize it. A dislodged permanent tooth usually requires root canal therapy, and no more than a few days afterward. When she (or he) completes the therapy, a permanent crown or root canal filling will restore the tooth.
A knocked-out tooth needs immediate endodontic attention. Treatment within 30 minutes greatly increases the chance of the tooth being salvageable. She will examine the tooth, return it to its socket and see if your face and other teeth have been damaged. For your sake and the sake of others, you should learn how to properly handle and transport a dislodged tooth.
Time is of the essence with dislodged or knocked-out teeth to prevent root resorption. That’s when your body’s defense mechanisms respond by rejecting your tooth.
The long-term health of a tooth with a horizontal root fracture depends on the fracture’s location. The tooth’s future is more promising when the fracture is close to the root tip rather than the gum line. A tooth with an extreme split may have to be extracted.
A crown with a small fracture or chip can usually be refurbished with a tooth-colored filling or by reattaching the chip. A crown that’s lost a significant fragment will likely need to be capped with a permanent artificial crown.
Linda Ricks, DDS, MS, PC uses state-of-the-art knowledge and technology to perform a complete array of procedures with the utmost care and precision. Please don’t hesitate to call us for an appointment—especially if it’s for a dental emergency.
By Linda Ricks, DDS, MS, PC
March 30, 2023