Strong as teeth are, they can still be injured. While cavities are something you can work to prevent, dental trauma often is out of your control. When your tooth gets injured, it’s natural to panic and wonder if it’s possible for it to heal. The sooner you seek out treatment after experiencing dental trauma, the higher the chances that your tooth will be able to heal.
What Is Dental Trauma?
Dental trauma is when your teeth or gums or the surrounding tissue like your lips and cheeks have been injured. It can range from fairly minor, such as a chipped tooth, to severe, such as a tooth that has been knocked out. Dental trauma can result from any number of causes, from a car crash to a sports injury.
Because dental trauma usually results from injury, it’s hard to prevent. The best measures you can take to prevent it are following common safety procedures, such as wearing a seat belt when driving and using a mouthguard when playing contact sports.
Types Of Dental Trauma To Teeth
Many traumatic dental injuries are minor, however, there are serious cases in which the tooth has been significantly damaged. The type of dental trauma you’ve sustained will impact what your treatment options look like and how long it will take for your tooth to heal. Endodontists can help with dental trauma and increase the likelihood that your natural tooth can heal.
Cracked or chipped teeth are among the least serious and the most common of dental traumas, but that doesn’t mean you can put off having them treated. In order to prevent the damage from escalating, it’s vital to see a dentist as soon as possible.
Dislodged (Luxated) Teeth
Dislodged teeth are when your tooth is knocked sideways or out of its socket. Endodontists can usually save these teeth by repositioning and stabilizing them.
Knocked Out (Avulsed) Teeth
If your tooth gets knocked out, it can still be saved. Seeking emergency dental care as soon as possible increases your chances of having it replaced. You want to keep the tooth from drying out, avoid touching the root, and handle it as carefully as possible.
This is one of the most severe kinds of dental trauma you can experience. A root fracture is when the root of your tooth cracks. This can spread to the rest of your tooth. The location of the fracture impacts the ability to save the tooth with stabilization and root canal treatment.
The bones of your face can break or get injured just like your arms and legs. Endodontists can help with facial bone injuries with stabilizing plates or wiring your jaws together.
Can A Damaged Tooth Heal Naturally?
Sometimes, people wonder if they really need to go to a dentist or an endodontist if their tooth is damaged. Your body heals plenty of injuries and issues on its own, doesn’t it stand to reason that a damaged tooth can heal naturally?
If you have extremely minimal damage, like a little line on the enamel of your tooth, that could heal over time with remineralization. But the fact of the matter is that if your tooth is damaged, it will typically only ever get worse if left untreated. For dental trauma especially, you need to see an expert in order to ensure that it can heal, and quickly, at that.
Treatment For Dental Trauma
The kind of treatment you receive depends on the kind of dental trauma that you’ve experienced, as well as its location and severity. How quickly you get to the dentist or endodontist after experiencing injury will impact how successful treatment is in saving your natural tooth if you’ve experienced more severe traumas like dislodged or knocked out teeth.
Some common treatment methods of dental trauma include: root canals, replantation (for knocked out teeth), veneers (for chipped teeth), extraction, crowns, repositioning, and splinting to stabilize a tooth until it heals. In some cases, surgical procedures may be required in order to repair severe damages.
Treatment is individualized to your specific circumstance. Endodontists will always try to save your natural tooth through whatever means necessary, but in some cases, your natural tooth can’t be saved, and you will need to have it extracted and replaced.
How Long Does It Take For Dental Trauma To Heal?
How long your tooth takes to heal depends on the injury it experienced and the treatment you received. Some kinds of trauma require multiple appointments throughout the healing process in order to complete treatment and ensure everything is looking as it should, such as if you’ve had a tooth knocked out that then needs to have a splint in order to stabilize it and the potential need for a root canal treatment further along in the healing process.
Depending on the injury, you may be able to recover within weeks or months, or you may need regular check-ins for up to five years following the trauma in order to ensure that it is healing properly and that no complications like root resorption occur.
Have You Sustained Dental Trauma?
If you’ve sustained dental trauma, it’s vital to seek emergency dental treatment in order to ensure that your tooth can be saved. If you’ve experienced a traumatic injury, contact our office immediately. We want to help you keep your teeth and offer expert services, so you’ll know you are in good hands.