Dental injuries can happen anywhere.
No matter how careful we may be, dental injuries happen. Tooth injuries increase significantly in the summer as people are out enjoying the weather. But traumatic dental injuries can occur in the winter too. Broomball or hockey, anyone?
Most dental injuries come from sports incidents, traffic accidents, trips, falls, motorcycle and bicycle accidents, and violence. If you experience a traumatic dental injury, it is critical you seek medical attention from a dental provider right away, no matter what the cause. The sooner we can assess the situation, the more likely we can save your teeth and protect your smile. Common dental injuries include chipped or fractured teeth, dislodged teeth, knocked-out teeth, and root fractures.
Can a knocked-out tooth be saved?
A staggering number of teeth are knocked out every year in both children and adults. If your tooth has been knocked out, you may think that it is a goner. However, this isn’t necessarily the case, as proper emergency action may very well save the tooth. In many cases, the tooth can be placed back where it belongs and can last for years!
If you experience a knocked-out tooth, it is essential to take action quickly, ideally within 30 minutes. Handle the tooth carefully—avoid touching the roots—and rinse off any dirt or debris on the tooth. If possible, reposition the tooth into the empty socket in your mouth. If the tooth can’t be placed into the socket due to swelling, inflammation, or other reasons, you must keep the tooth moist. If you have milk available to you, put the tooth in a small container of milk.
If milk isn’t an option, put it in your mouth next to your teeth. No matter what you do, please don’t keep the tooth in tap water as the surface cells at the root of the tooth will not be able to tolerate it. Next, head to your closest dentist or endodontist. A dentist trained in traumatic dental injuries will identify if neighboring teeth are affected and whether or not you also have a soft tissue injury.
Treatment Options for Traumatic Dental Injuries
If you or your loved one has experienced a dental injury of some kind, it is essential to know that many treatment options are available. Though some dental injuries can’t be prevented (such as car accidents, incidents from trips and falls, and bike accidents), some can.
At Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center, we often talk to our patients about preventing dental injury. For those who play sports or work in dangerous professions, we suggest custom mouthguards to help lessen the risk of a mouth injury that can negatively impact your teeth. If this applies to you, please let us know so that we can help with a custom mouthguard fitting and so that we can partner with you to protect your teeth now and in the future.
Dental implants consist of single or multiple artificial teeth that are surgically implanted into your jaw to hold replacement teeth or a bridge. Dental implants are a common choice for those who have lost a tooth due to a traumatic injury or periodontal disease. There are two common types of dental implants. Endosteal implants are typically made of titanium and are placed in the jawbone. Subperiosteal implants are used for patients who no longer have a natural healthy jawbone. These implants are placed under the gum and above the jawbone.
If you have one or more missing teeth, have adequate bone to secure the implant, and have otherwise healthy oral tissues, you will likely be a candidate for dental implants or All-on-4 dental implants. We are an expert provider of dental implants in Philadelphia and can help you with the right dental implant solution.
The cost of full mouth dental implants for extreme situations can be quite costly, with prices starting around $3,000 per tooth. Due to the excessive expense of dental implants, the Bentz team often recommends All-on-4 implants. They tend to be an affordable dental implant option that lasts longer and fits better than traditional dentures.
Dr. Bentz is often asked about dental bridges and what they are. Bridges consist of what we call a pontic, or a fake tooth held in position by the teeth on either side of the gap. These pontics are most often made from porcelain so that they blend in with the look and feel of your remaining natural teeth.
Dental bridges are used to help restore your smile and provide you with the ability to chew properly. They can also help you restore your speech and maintain the shape of your face after a severe facial injury. Occasionally, bridges are used instead of dental implants.
Dental crowns are a standard solution when an existing tooth has been chipped or damaged in some way. Dental crowns are designed to look like your natural tooth and are then placed over the damaged tooth to prevent further damage or decay. In some cases, we use crowns to hold a dental bridge or cover a dental implant.
If you have experienced a traumatic dental injury and have been left with discolored or misshapen teeth, veneers might be a good option for you. Veneers can be an alternative to a crown for teeth that have been chipped or broken or if you have teeth with gaps between them.
Don’t wait if you have experienced a dental injury.
We can’t emphasize enough the need to contact a dental professional immediately if you have experienced a traumatic dental injury. The sooner we can assess the situation for you, the more likely we can provide a cost-effective solution that will get you back to your best smile. If you need emergency dental care, contact us. If you are unable to reach us during regular business hours, do not hesitate to seek emergency care at your local emergency department.