What to Do if You Experience a Traumatic Dental Injury

20 December 2022

We consider trauma to be anything that causes pain or damage to a tooth. Trauma can happen to anyone and at any time; there is no age group that is more at risk than another.

While accidents or sport-related injuries are what we typically think of as trauma, eating an apple or biting into a hard piece of candy can also cause a traumatic event.

Your dentist and their team will strive to save all your natural teeth, so we advise you to seek medical attention as soon as the event occurs. Even if you don’t see anything by looking in a mirror, pain is a good indicator that there is something wrong and needs attention. 

Dental trauma can also affect things like your gums and tongue. This can happen in the event of brace wires breaking and scratching or penetrating the gums and cheeks. 

If you see any bleeding or swelling, rinse your mouth with warm water to flush out any debris and reduce the risk of infection. A cold compress to the gums or tongue may help to reduce the swelling.

By understanding more about some of the more common injuries, you can make an informed decision should you ever experience this yourself. Below, we will discuss in more detail on what constitutes dental trauma and what to do in such an event.

Chipped or Broken Teeth

Chipped or even broken teeth can be annoying. You can be innocently eating corn on the cob, for example, or having a friendly game of foosball, and then an accident happens that chips a piece of the tooth off.

Where possible, in this event, try to find the broken piece of tooth and rinse it off with warm water and save it. The dental team may be able to use it in order to restore your tooth.

You should reach out to your dental office and see them within 12 hours of the chip occurring. This gives the tooth the best possible chance of being restored without invasive treatment. 

It also allows the team to work quickly to prevent any infection from getting into the pulp. This is the living tissue within the tooth, which, when exposed, becomes extremely vulnerable. 

Loose or Displaced Teeth

Luxated (meaning loose or displaced) teeth need to be seen as quickly as possible. 

Try not to touch the tooth if it has been pushed too far back into the socket, as this can lead to complications.

If there is bleeding, gently apply a cold compress to help reduce the swelling and stop the bleeding. However, it is important to see your dental team within six hours of the incident.

Try to avoid taking any painkillers, as this could interact with any anesthetic that your dental team may need to use. Such medication can also thin the blood. This can lead to excessive bleeding during treatment and cause further complications.

Knocked Out Teeth

For a tooth that has been completely removed from its socket, time is of the essence. 

Recover the tooth, clean it off with warm water, and place it in milk to help preserve the tooth and the roots. Do not handle the tooth by the roots, as this may damage them.

Where possible, try to put the tooth back into the socket. However, make sure it is facing the right way, and hold it there for about five minutes. Use a piece of wet paper towel or tissue to help hold the tooth.

If you cannot place the tooth back, then pack the socket (or the hole in the gums where the tooth used to be) with gauze or a cotton ball to stem any bleeding and to help prevent infection.

Even if you can place the tooth back in its socket, you should call your dental office and try to see them immediately. Again, try to avoid taking painkillers. 

Your dental team will be able to assess the tooth and socket to see if they can preserve it and place it back into the socket for the optimal chance of recovery.

Get Examined Quickly

Regardless if you are a world-class hockey player or a stay-at-home parent, if you have encountered any form of dental trauma, you must see your dental team as soon as possible.

The faster you are examined, the more chance there is of saving the tooth (or teeth) to keep your natural and beautiful smile, without having to undergo treatments such as root canals or a bridge.

The expert team at Oakville Place Dental Office has been proudly serving their patients for over 20 years. 

With the latest technology on-site to speed up the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of your smile, the majority of traumas can be rectified within the same day, as opposed to other clinics where you may be required to attend multiple appointments. 

Our CEREC machine allows our team to create inlays, overlays, crowns, and veneers all in the same appointment, thus speeding up your recovery. 

Dental Vibe is one of the latest technologies used at Oakville Place Dental Office. This helps numb the gums without using invasive needles to administer the anesthetic. 

As well, the high-powered, high-tech intraoral camera allows you to see and follow the dentist while they are treating you.

Our professional, friendly, and expert team will help you when in need of an emergency dental service. Starting with the front staff, when they answer your call, to the dental team repairing your smile, your emergency is taken seriously as we know that timing is key to a quick recovery.

Our convenient office hours mean that we will be able to see you on the same day, even if you finish work at 5 p.m.

Don’t Wait, Call Us Today

If you have experienced dental trauma of any kind, then reach out to us here at Oakville Place Dental Office as soon as possible.

You can book an appointment online. However, we would recommend that you call us at 647-496-2721 so that we can treat you as quickly as possible to ensure maximum time to repair and restore your smile.

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