Many people associate visits to the dentist with routine cleaning and occasional cavities, and hopefully for many people regularly cleaning will minimize the necessity of major dental work. However, no matter how thoroughly a patient brushes and flosses, or how routinely they have professional cleaning, some patients will experience physical trauma that will require an unplanned visit to the dentist.
In the event of trauma – perhaps a fall, or a car accident – that causes damage to one or more teeth, the patient should immediately contact a dentist. There are a number of different possible problems, and each of them have different treatments that are necessary. Here are a few possible problems, and their typical solutions:
– A chipped or fractured tooth will likely be corrected with either a tooth-colored filling or a cap or crown. If the inner pulp is exposed, a root canal and crown is likely required.
– A dislodged tooth that is pushed sideways or upward into the gum will generally require a root canal, and a dentist or endodontist will focus on stabilizing the tooth.
– A tooth that has been knocked out of its socket completely may be able to be saved if a patient arrives at the dentist in time, and the tooth is handled properly. The tooth root should not be touched, and it should be kept moist (either in the socket, in milk, or in the gum against your cheek). Rapid treatment is vital to saving the tooth, so the patient should get to a dentist immediately.
While some trauma is treatable, it’s occasionally true that the tooth may be lost due to the nature of the damage. After the initial treatment, your dentist or endodontist will likely recommend follow-up visits for quite some time – potentially as long as 4 or 5 years – to ensure that your mouth is coping with the damage to your teeth. If you feel a chip or crack, even if you believe it is minor, be sure to visit your dentist to ensure that the tooth is healthy and you’re not jeopardizing the tooth root by failing to treat the chip properly.
If you’ve experienced trauma, and have broken, chipped, dislodged, or knocked out a tooth, please contact our office immediately to schedule an appointment. Time is of the essence, and delaying an office visit may jeopardize your teeth.
Call Dr. Ted Haines DDS for more information on oral health or to make an appointment today at 360-568-8577 or visit the website at tedhainesdds.com.
Dr. Haines of Snohomish, WA also proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.