what is considered a dental trauma

As endodontists, we treat patients who have experienced serious dental trauma. We take pride in our ability to get to the root of the problem and relieve patients of pain.

About Dental Trauma

Sometimes people ask us, “what is considered a dental trauma?” Dental trauma is any kind of injury to the mouth that impacts oral health. This trauma may affect a specific tooth or the teeth, lips, gums, tongue, and even the supporting bone structure like the jawbones.

These traumatic dental injuries often happen in an instant. You may be playing your favorite sport, skiing, workout out, or just driving to work. Falls and impact injuries can happen to anyone. Fortunately, most of these injuries are minor, for example, a chipped tooth. But sometimes, a tooth may be knocked out or dislodged.

Modern dentistry has made great strides over the years. The most appropriate treatment varies depending on the type of injury, the specific injured tooth or teeth, and the severity of the injury. The first step is a thorough examination by a skilled dentist or endodontist. Sometimes the trauma affects not just the damaged tooth but other teeth surrounding it. This less obvious damage can have long-term consequences if ignored and requires the expertise of a dental professional who is experienced in treating dental trauma.

Some causes of dental trauma include

  • Bicycle, motorcycle, scooter, or car accidents
  • Impact during contact sports
  • Fights or assault
  • Eating hard foods and even sometimes drinking overly hot liquids
  • Accidents in the workplace
  • Falls resulting in an impact to the mouth or jaw

Why Opt for an Endodontist

Endodontists are dentists who specialize in saving teeth. Most often, people associate endodontic care with root canals since we excel at this treatment. Endodontists also treat traumatic dental injuries using advanced skills, specialized techniques, and technologies. We treat the tooth from the inside out and often can save injured teeth.

If you suffered an accident that may have damaged your tooth, please see an endodontist. Early diagnosis leads to early treatment, and these issues are easiest to resolve early on. Also, if you already have a cracked or injured tooth due to past trauma, give us a call.

We understand that dental accidents or trauma don’t wait until business hours during the week. Most endodontists accommodate emergencies, even if it is nighttime, the weekend, or a holiday. As endodontists, we aim to offer relief from your pain and hopefully preserve your tooth.

How Endodontists and Dentists Treat Trauma

First, we would need to diagnose the problem and assess the level of damage. This usually involves using advanced imaging tools. As endodontists, we are accustomed to looking at the minuscule and complex root canal system. We look for tiny signs of damage.

As mentioned, the precise treatment is highly specific to the injury. For example, a tiny chip with no deeper damage may simply require the broken piece to be reattached or a tooth-colored filling. However, if the sensitive inner layers are exposed due to the injury, you may develop pain, sensitivity to temperature, and other problems that affect your quality of life. These injuries may require a cap, a root canal, or other treatment. Appropriate treatment early saves you from the possibility of a more serious injury, pain, and infection.

Periodontal tissues or injuries to soft tissue are often overlooked, but it is still crucial to seek care. We urge you to seek care right away as the soft tissues are essential to good oral health, and avoiding treatment can lead to infection.

What to Do After Trauma

If you have an accident, don’t panic but seek care immediately. If it is during the day, call a local endodontist. For example, Charlotte residents can call Ballantyne Endodontics. A member of your endodontist’s team will talk you through the next steps depending on the injury and may have you come in for an emergency appointment.

If the injury occurs after hours, contact the after-hours service. If the situation is potentially life-threatening, seek urgent care or go to your local emergency room. After stabilizing your health, the team at the ER can connect you with dental services. This is especially important if there was possibly a concussion or neck injury.

For more minor accidents, seek relief from injury to soft tissues by rinsing with warm salt water while you contact your dentist or endodontist to schedule an emergency appointment.

Preventing Dental Trauma

While some accidents are unavoidable, some may be prevented. Chances are, your general dentist has already spoken with you about ways to help minimize the risk of dental trauma. Here is a quick refresher since we all need reminders from time to time:

  • Whenever you drive or ride in a car, wear a seatbelt.
  • Wherever you ride a motorcycle or bicycle, wear a helmet.
  • If you are working on or visiting a construction site, wear a helmet.
  • Wear a sports mouthguard when playing contact sports or sports involving flying balls or pucks.
  • If you grind your teeth at night, wear a fitted mouthguard while you sleep.
  • Avoid using your teeth as tools to open packages, break things, clip fingernails, or other tasks beyond eating.
  • Pay attention to safety and fall prevention guidance for every task or activity you engage in.

You may have noticed that many of the guidelines mentioned also reduce the risk of traumatic head trauma as well as dental trauma. So following some of them can save more than your teeth.

When You Need an Endodontist

Ballantyne Endodontics is proud to serve Charlotte area residents and to help restore wellness. We always strive to save natural teeth whenever possible.

Whether you are experiencing pain caused by dental trauma, a congenital issue, or wondering “what is considered dental trauma?”, give us a call.

Our team members are compassionate and treat each patient as an individual. We know all too well how dental trauma can impact every aspect of life and don’t want anyone to suffer.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment.