Dental TipsHealth & Fitness

What Should I do if I, or Someone Else, Suffers a Dental Injury?

What are dental injuries?

Dental injuries involve a range of conditions quite often acquired by accident, resulting in damage to the teeth or the tissues around them. In less severe cases usually the chipping of the enamel is involved. If the injury runs deep, not only the enamel but the dentine can be involved too.

The pulp tissue is the very central layer of the tooth, consisting of connective tissue. If the dental injury results in the necrosis of this tissue, it can have very serious complications, such as infections or abscesses.

What kinds of treatments are available for tooth injuries?

In emergency dental procedures a tooth may be able to be re-implanted by a dentist, if it has not spent too much time outside the mouth. The tooth cannot be re-implanted if it has sustained significant damage in the pulp tissue or got infected. In case the tooth cannot be re-implanted a dentist in Sydney CBD offers dental implants. Often a dental injury only affects a part of the enamel, rather than the dentine and the pulp tissue. In these cases, cosmetic solutions, such as veneers offered by a dentist in Sydney CBD can prove as the appropriate solution.

What can cause dental injuries?

Sports and a variety of activities can result in accidents causing tooth damage. If a patient suffers from head or neck injury alongside the dental injury, the patient must be evaluated in a hospital. However, if the trauma only involves dental injuries, dentists can address the problem. Trauma from sports mishaps or an accident are not the only reasons behind dental injuries. Wear and tear from the usage of teeth, cavities, biting of hard objects may also cause dental injuries and tooth fractures.

How to give first aid for dental injuries?

Prior to arriving at your dentist there are some things you can do if you or someone else has suffered a dental injury. Upper front teeth often get knocked out during accidents. If the tooth was a primary tooth (child’s tooth) it is generally not re-implanted. However, if the victim of the injury was a permanent tooth, a lot of care must be taken: the tooth must be handled only by its crown. The root should not be touched. The tooth should be rinsed with clean water, and placed back into the cavity it came from, which should later be examined by a dentist. If the patient or a carer is not certain about reimplanting the tooth, it has to be stored in milk and carried to the dentist as early as possible. The shorter the time the tooth spends outside its natural environment, the higher the chance of successful replantation. For the treatment of the injury related pain, ibuprofen, paracetamol or other NSAIDs can be given.

How do I prevent dental injuries?

If the front teeth are protruding the correction of this is important for preventing dental injuries given their susceptibility to accident. When engaging in activities or playing sports that increase the risk of dental injuries wearing a mouthguard (or a protective mask if necessary) can protect you from dental injuries. Mouthguards can be purchased at the pharmacy or personalised by dentists.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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