What to do in case of an injury of a permanent tooth
Almost 50% of the children will have some type of injury to a tooth during childhood. Tooth injuries occur after a fall, sport injury or fight and the upper front teeth are the most commonly affected.
When to see a dentist
You should seek help if you notice any of the following
• Sensitivity to cold or warm
• Broken, loose or missing tooth after the trauma
• Trauma of the soft tissues (lips, cheeks, tongue)
• Pain or difficulty when opening or closing the mouth
• Pain when tapping the tooth
What to do if the permanent tooth is knocked out
Knocking out a tooth is a dental emergency that requires prompt treatment. The tooth should be placed back into the socket as soon as possible after the trauma. The sooner you reimplant the tooth the better the prognosis. If you knock out a tooth you should:
– Find the tooth and hold it from the crown (the white bit that is visible out of the gums)
– Lick the tooth or rinse it shortly with cold tap water.
– Place it back in the socket. Never try to reimplant a baby tooth.
– Visit your dentist Leith.
If you cannot reimplant the tooth, it should be stored in a container of cold milk. If cold milk is not available then place the tooth in a container of the child’s saliva or place the tooth in the child’s mouth (between the cheeks and gums). You should not put the tooth in water as it could affect the healing. The dentist Edinburgh will take an xray and check if the tooth is in correct position and will splint it to the teeth either side for a few weeks.
If the tooth is broken your dentist should be able either to ‘glue” the fragment back on to the tooth or build the tooth with composite filling material. If the tooth is heavily fractured a veneer or crown might be necessary. In case the pulp (nerve) is exposed a root canal treatment might be necessary. Reviews appointment will be necessary after a dental injury as the tooth might get infected years after the incident.
Protecting the teeth during sports
If you play a sport, such as rugby or hockey, where there’s a higher risk of being hit in the mouth, you may need a mouthguard to protect your teeth. There are two kinds of mouthguards:
– Self-adapted mouthguards, also known as “boil and bite” mouthguards which are moulded using hot water. They can be uncomfortable, they are not very retentive and they are not as strong as the custom-made mouthguards.
– Custom-made mouthguards are made by your dentist. The dentist takes an impression and the technician constructs the mouthguard. The custom-made mouthguards are more retentive and stronger and could protect the teeth better in case of an accident.