It can be scary when you or your child experiences a tooth injury, like falling or being hit with an object. The good news is oftentimes, even teeth that have been knocked out can be saved! We are proud to be a top emergency dentist in Charlotte, NC, so please give us a call.
Types of traumatic tooth injuries
Your treatment will vary depending on what type of tooth injury you experienced.
Mouth injuries can push teeth back into their sockets. If you or your child has experienced this kind of tooth injury in Charlotte, NC, please call our office. We can generally reposition and stabilize your tooth.
Often, we will need to call you back in a few weeks for root canal treatment. If this is the case, we will place a medication, such as calcium hydroxide, inside the tooth. Eventually, we’ll give you a permanent filling. We want to stress how important returning for your follow-up treatment visit is. It can truly save your tooth!
Sometimes an injury can push the tooth partially out of its socket. In this case, we or your general dentist will reposition and stabilize your tooth. If the tooth’s pulp is healthy, no other treatment is necessary. If the pulp is damaged or infected, root canal treatment will be required.
Some injuries will knock a tooth completely out of the mouth. This is known as an avulsion, and requires immediate treatment. The good news is that many times, it is possible to save a tooth, even if it’s been knocked out!
If you have an avulsed tooth, it’s important to keep it moist so it can be saved. The number one most important tip we can offer is this: Immediately put your knocked-out tooth back into the socket, if at all possible. Don’t touch the root—just the crown.
You’ll have the best chance of keeping your natural tooth if it is reimplanted within 30 minutes of being knocked out, so call your dentist immediately—call them from the scene of the accident. Don’t delay! If you cannot reinsert your tooth on your own, put it in milk (not water) until you can see your dentist (again, call them immediately so they can see you straight away). Your treatment will depend on how long the tooth was out of your mouth and how the tooth was stored.
However, it’s possible that your endodontist will begin root canal therapy immediately.
Traumatic Tooth Injuries In Children
Kids are wonderfully resilient. If your child’s immature tooth has been injured, we may need to perform one of the following procedures to improve the chances of saving it.
Apexogenesis, aka Vital Pulp Therapy
Sometimes, a root canal is not the best treatment. In some situations, we may want to perform an apexogenesis (also known as Vital Pulp Therapy) instead for your child, so that we can keep the nerve alive. This procedure encourages the root to continue to develop and fully form as the pulp heals. We will cover the soft tissue with medication called mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) to stimulate 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 procedure, we will remove the unhealthy pulp. Then we’ll place medication in 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. That means it’s extra important to have your child’s tooth properly restored by your dentist.
If you experience a dental emergency in Charlotte, NC, please call our office right away. We specialize in endodontic and emergency procedures.