Traumatic Injuries to the Mouth
Injuries to the mouth can cause teeth to be pushed within or partially out of their sockets. Dr. Wilson, Dr. Shurtz or your general dentist may reposition and stabilize your teeth when this type of trauma occurs. It is important to have an evaluation of traumatized teeth to determine if the pulp is damaged to the point where root canal treatment is indicated. Root canal treatment, when indicated, is usually started within a few weeks of the injury and a medication, such as calcium hydroxide, will be placed inside the tooth. Eventually, a permanent root canal filling will be placed.
If the pulp of a traumatized tooth remains healthy, then no other treatment is necessary. Yet, if the pulp becomes damaged or infected, root canal treatment will be required. If left untreated, many different complications can arise. These complications can include but are not limited to: Infection of the tooth & surrounding tissue and potential loss of the tooth.
If an injury causes a tooth to be completely knocked out of your mouth, it is important that you are treated immediately! If this happens to you, keep the tooth moist (milk is a good option). If possible, put it back into the socket. A tooth can be saved if it remains moist. You can even put the tooth in milk or a glass of water (add a pinch of salt.) Dr. Wilson or Dr. Shurtz may start root canal treatment based upon the stage of root development. The length of time the tooth was out of your mouth and the way the tooth was stored, may influence the type of treatment you receive.
Tooth Injuries in Children
An injured immature tooth may need one of the following procedures to improve the chances of saving the tooth:
This procedure encourages the root to continue development as the pulp is healed. Soft tissue is covered with medication to encourage growth. The tip of the root (apex) will continue to close as the child gets older. In turn, the walls of the root canal will thicken. If the pulp heals, no additional treatment will be necessary. The more mature the root becomes, the better the chance to save the tooth.
In this case, the unhealthy pulp is removed. The doctors place medication into the root to help a hard tissue form near the root tip. This hardened tissue provides a barrier for the root canal filling. At this point, the root canal walls will not continue to develop, making the tooth susceptible to fractures. So it is important to have the tooth properly restored by your dentist.