Anytime an injury happens it can be unsettling and alarming but even more so when it is to the mouth or teeth. Whether you think you have chipped or fractured a tooth, or you have suffered some form of dental trauma, definitely come to see us immediately at Pacific Ave. Dental where we can assess the situation and determine how extensive the damage may be. It is important that you see us right away so we can develop a wide selection of treatment plans to address your needs.
A dental emergency, or dental trauma, is classified as physical injury to the teeth and mouth, including the gums, bone, lips, and tongue. Time is of the essence when managing dental injuries, and it is important to obtain a timely diagnosis to maximize the best outcome. Our talented team at Pacific Ave. Dental is used to handling dental emergencies and will ensure you receive the most appropriate and effective treatment as expediently as possible.
Dental Trauma Types
You may wonder what can be categorized as dental trauma. There are several types of dental traumas and emergencies that we see most often, including a chipped tooth, and tooth and root fractures.
Subluxation, is the term used to describe mobility in the tooth resulting from damage or injury to the tooth’s supporting structures. In other words, when a tooth has been knocked loose. If a tooth has been dislodged, and the bone surrounding the tooth has been fractured, it is known as lateral luxation.
An intrusion is a term used to describe a case where the tooth has been jammed into the bone, whereas an extrusion is a situation where the tooth has been pushed away from the bone.
An avulsion is the term used when the tooth has been completely dislodged (knocked out) from the socket; there are some cases where the tooth can be safely reseated in the socket.
Jaw fractures, as well as injury to the lips, gums, tongue, and soft tissues of the mouth also fall under the umbrella of dental trauma.
Management of dental trauma may involve several different specialties including general dentists, oral surgeons, periodontists, endodontists, and restorative dentistry procedures. It is crucial they all work together, particularly to preserve a tooth and the root.
Dental Trauma Treatments
Following trauma, professional treatment is required to repair the damage and restore the patient’s oral health. We will provide a complete examination and assess the amount of damage done. X-rays can determine injuries to the roots of teeth, jawbone, and other soft structures of the mouth. Rarely, teeth can partially heal on their own, but a professional assessment should be made to determine the best course of action.
Antibiotics are always recommended to curtail any infection as a result of the trauma. This minimizes the damage getting worse by allowing bacteria to enter the injured tissue. If the injury is severe enough, we need to discuss surgical options as quickly as possible.
Damage to the mouth can be painful and traumatic due to the fact it may alter your appearance. Missing or chipped teeth or cuts to the mouth or lips can leave patients not only in pain, but looking much different than normal. Our team can help assess the damage done and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.
What To Do if You Have Knocked a Tooth Out
It is easy to panic but try not to if a dental emergency happens. Pick up the tooth by the crown. This is the part of the tooth you can see when it is in your mouth, rather than the root. If the tooth is dirty, lick it clean. If you can, place it gently back in the socket and bite down on a clean tissue or other absorbent material to keep it in place. If you can’t hold it in the tooth’s socket, you will need to keep the root from drying out. Placing it in a plastic container with milk, rather than water, or wrapping it in a damp cloth will give you the best chance of saving the tooth if you can get in to see us immediately.
Treatments for Dental Emergencies
The treatment you need will be determined by our dentist after the injuries to your mouth have been assessed. Our dentist will perform an examination and may take some x-rays or other diagnostic tests.
Treatments for chipped or fractured teeth may be as simple as a filling, or a dental crown if the tooth needs some additional strength. Root canal therapy may be required if the pulp (the soft center of the tooth) has been exposed, or the cusps (the pointed surfaces on the back teeth) are damaged. If the tooth is seriously damaged there may be no option but to extract it.
If the tooth has been knocked out, our dentist may be able to replant it provided you have acted quickly. It will be placed back in the socket with a stabilizing splint. After a few weeks, the ligament connecting the tooth to the bone will reattach, but you may then require a root canal if the nerves or blood vessels have been damaged.
It goes without saying that if you have suffered serious dental trauma, then close management and follow-up with our dentist is paramount. Our dentists will work closely with you to ensure that you obtain the best outcome after your dental emergency.
The type of treatment will be based on the dental trauma, and on the severity of the trauma. In cases where the tooth is loose within the jaw, or the tooth has been dislodged, a flexible splint can be used to help stabilize it. A soft diet is important, so as not to potentially further damage the tooth. It is also important to monitor the health of the tooth, and of the pulp within the tooth.
Surgical intervention may be needed for teeth that have been pushed into the bone. Extraction is possible, in some situations.
Contact Us For Any Dental Emergency in Bremerton, WA
Please contact us at Pacific Ave. Dental if you have experienced any trauma or dental emergency around Bremerton. We are highly experienced in handling dental traumas and emergencies. In an emergency, call us at (360) 373-3515 for further assistance. We are always available by phone.