Staying proactive with your smile care and the help of the Mountain West Dental Team will guarantee a healthy mouth no matter what!
Prevent Injury with a Mouth Piece
Mouthguards are the single best way to protect your smile! Teeth and mouth injuries are common among athletes but can happen to anyone.
Several types of mouthguards are available, and our team will help you find the one that meets your needs.
Traumatic Dental Injuries
While most traumatic dental injuries occur in children and teenagers, people of all ages can be affected, usually due to sports mishaps, automobile accidents, or bad falls.
Sometimes, neighboring teeth suffer an additional, unnoticed injury that a thorough dental exam will only detect.
If you’ve experienced a traumatic dental injury, it is essential to visit our Las Vegas office to determine any necessary treatment. Any dental injury, even if mild, requires examination by a dentist or a pediatric dentist immediately.
Chipped or Fractured Teeth
Chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Most chipped or fractured tooth crowns can be repaired by reattaching the broken piece or placing a tooth-colored filling. If a significant portion of the tooth crown breaks, you may need an artificial crown or “cap” to restore the tooth.
Injuries in the back teeth often include fractured cusps, cracked teeth, or a more serious split tooth. If cracks extend into the root, you may need root canal treatment and a full coverage crown to restore function to the tooth. Split teeth may require extraction.
Dislodged (Luxated) Teeth
A tooth may be pushed sideways out of or into its socket during an injury. Your pediatric dentist will reposition and stabilize your tooth. Root canal treatment is usually needed for permanent teeth dislodged and should be started a few days after the injury.
Children between seven and 12 years old may not need root canal treatment since teeth are still developing. For those patients, your Pediatric Dentist will monitor the healing carefully and intervene immediately if any unfavorable changes appear.
Knocked-Out (Avulsed) Teeth
Time is of the essence if a tooth is completely knocked out of your mouth. The tooth should be handled gently, avoiding touching the root surface. If it is dirty, quickly and gently rinse it in water. Do not use soap or any other cleaning agent; never scrape or brush the tooth.
If possible, the tooth should be placed back into its socket as soon as possible. The less time the tooth is out of its socket, the better the chance of saving it.
Once the tooth has been put back in its socket, Dr. Tomlin will evaluate it and check for any other dental or facial injuries. If the tooth has not been placed back into its socket, your pediatric dentist will clean it carefully and replace it.
A stabilizing splint will be placed for a few weeks. Depending on the stage of root development, Dr. Tomlin may start root canal treatment a week or two later.
A traumatic injury to the tooth may also result in a horizontal root fracture. The location of the fracture determines the long-term health of the tooth. If the fracture is close to the root tip, the chances for success are much better.
The closer the fracture is to the gum line, the poorer the long-term success rate. Stabilization with a splint is sometimes required for a period.
Traumatic Dental Injuries in Children
Dr. Tomlin can aesthetically restore chipped primary (baby) teeth. We can sometimes reposition dislodged primary teeth, but we typically do not. This is because the replantation of a primary tooth may cause further and permanent damage to the underlying permanent tooth that is growing inside the bone.
Children’s permanent teeth that are not fully developed at the time of the injury need special attention and careful follow-up, but not all of them will need root canal treatment.
In an immature permanent tooth, the blood supply to the tooth and the presence of stem cells in the region help Dr. Tomlin stimulate continued root growth.
Resorption occurs when your body, through its defense mechanisms, begins to reject your tooth in response to the traumatic injury.
Following the injury, you should visit our Las Vegas office to have the tooth examined or treated at regular intervals to ensure that root resorption is not occurring and that surrounding tissues continue to heal.
With any traumatic dental injury, time is of the essence. Contact Mountain West Dental Specialists right away and we’ll schedule a time to see you and resolve the issue.