Dental Trauma and Tooth Resorption

After suffering a traumatic injury such as a cracked or injured tooth – immediate examination and treatment provides the best chance of keeping your tooth healthy. Traumatic dental injuries often are a result of a sports injury or accident, and treatment depends on the type, location, and severity of tooth trauma. With advanced skills, techniques, and 3-D x-ray technology, our endodontists specialize in all phases of dental trauma management. Our goal is always to make your endodontic treatment comfortable and free of pain, giving you the best success possible following tooth injury.

Specialized Care for Traumatic Dental Injuries

Specialized Care for Traumatic Dental Injuries
We understand dental injuries are unexpected and can be upsetting. That’s why we take the time to get to know you and learn about your injury during a friendly endodontic evaluation.

From there, we determine how to move forward with a personalized treatment plan. Dental trauma can injure and inflame the nerve of your tooth, causing pain and putting your oral health at risk. Your endodontist will discuss treatment options with you and decide if a root canal treatment can best repair the damage to your tooth.

What to Expect When Your Tooth is Displaced
Treatment of an injured tooth depends on type, location, severity and whether it is a primary (or “baby tooth”) or permanent adult tooth – timeliness is the key to success.

Tooth Concussion: impact injury to your tooth that may result in sore or bleeding gums, pain on biting or possible temperature sensitivity. A concussed tooth typically does not feel loose nor is it loose or mobile.

Chipped Tooth: if you’ve chipped a front tooth, it likely can be repaired with a dental filling or crown. Those chipped teeth with cold or hot sensitivity or nerve exposure require special attention and sometimes endodontic treatment.

Dislodged (Luxated) Tooth: depending on the direction or location of mouth injury, a tooth may be pushed sideways, in-to or out of its usual position. Your endodontist may reposition the tooth, stabilize or brace the tooth and place medicine inside as part of a root canal treatment to relieve your tooth pain and save the natural tooth.

Root Fracture: a traumatic injury to your tooth may also cause a horizontal root fracture, noticed as a loose tooth and/or painful or bleeding gums. As with a dislodged tooth, stabilization with a splint is sometimes required.

Treatment for a Knocked Out Tooth (Avulsed Teeth)
If one of your teeth is completely knocked out of your mouth, it is very important you see a dental professional immediately. Receiving treatment in less than an hour offers the best success. Please contact us now to schedule an emergency appointment. We prioritize emergency situations like these — such as a tooth avulsion — and we will see you as soon as possible.

We do everything we can to restore your natural tooth quickly, while keeping you comfortable. The length of time the tooth was out of your mouth and the way the tooth was stored will influence the type of treatment needed.

What to do if you knock out a tooth? Handle a knocked-out tooth carefully, only touching the crown (the white part) and not the root surface. It is important to minimize drying of the tooth and immediately replant if possible.

Replantation of an Adult or Permanent Tooth: often replanting the tooth back into the socket within 15 minutes at the place of accident increases chances of success. If dirty, rinse with milk, saline, or saliva before immediately replanting. Do not use regular water. Following replantation, bite on gauze, handkerchief or napkin to hold in place – then contact us immediately.

If on-site replantation is not possible: Keep the tooth moist by placing in milk, saliva (after spitting into a cup for instance) or saline and contact us immediately. Do not store in water.

Dental Trauma in Children
We know that dental injuries can be concerning for both children and parents. Rest assured that we will do everything we can to keep your child comfortable and save their teeth.

Trauma to a children’s primary teeth or “baby teeth” is treated differently than adult teeth. Primary teeth that have been knocked out typically should not be replanted as it may damage the permanent tooth growing below. Therefore these baby teeth are most appropriately treated by a child’s general dentist or pediatric dental specialist (pedodontist).

Children’s permanent teeth that are not fully developed at the time of injury need special attention, though may not need root canal treatment. Despite injury, incompletely formed roots of a permanent tooth can continue to develop on their own, but require close follow-up. Sometimes endodontic procedures known as apexogenesis, apexification, or regenerative endodontic procedures are necessary to promote continued tooth development with the ultimate goal of reducing risk of a cracked or fractured root later in life.

When it comes to dental trauma, every minute matters. The ToothSOS mobile app is an excellent resource at your fingertips, providing step-by-step guides to follow immediately after the injury occurs. The app is available to download for iPhone or Android.

Tooth Resorption
Following dental trauma or treatment of tooth injury, it is important to return for periodic evaluation. The long-term health of your tooth after injury is dependent on the length of time from injury to treatment, care received after the injury and your body’s response. In some instances, your body, through its own defense mechanisms, may begin to reject your tooth in response to the dental injury – a process called dental resorption or simply root resorption.

Have any additional questions?
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Our specialists are grounded in evidence-based methods and utilize the most advanced techniques to repair damage from dental trauma – quickly. And we do all we can to restore your smile and save your natural teeth, all while keeping you at ease.

If you’ve experienced a dental injury, contact our Colorado Springs or Pueblo office today to schedule your endodontic evaluation.