Dental Trauma Cases
Traumatic dental injuries are often difficult to treat. Thankfully, advances in dental technology allow us to satisfactorily augment broken teeth in ways that dental experts in previous decades could not do. Our team of skilled endodontists knows how to turn an unsightly facial appearance into an impressive look.
Types of Dental Trauma
Dental injuries are generally separated into fractures and luxation injuries. Fractures, in turn, are subdivided into crown, crown-root, and root fractures. If the pulp becomes exposed to the oral environment we call it a complicated fracture, but if it is not exposed it is called an uncomplicated fracture. However, it is important to note that dental injuries will often fall into multiple different categories instead of just one.
If we want to save the tooth, fast action is critical in treating dental trauma. Ensuring an adequate and timely follow-up procedure is equally important. If you ever experience any kind of dental injury, contact us right away.
Before we can begin a tooth restoration procedure, we must do a thorough evaluation of the injury and gather all of the necessary information, including, but not limited to:
Once we have the necessary information, we can make a diagnosis and administer the proper treatment.
Head Injury Examination
It is necessary that we perform a brief central nervous system evaluation before any further examination because the dentist is often the first health care provider a patient sees after a head injury (dental trauma is a form of head injury). If that is the case, then we’ll need to examine the patient’s risk of hemorrhage or concussion.
Once we’ve ruled out issues with the nervous system, we’ll investigate the dental injury. To do this, we will need to conduct detailed extraoral and intraoral clinical exams along with x-rays. The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) recommends taking one or two x-rays from different angles for each dental injury. We also use cone-beam computed tomography for more serious injuries, including root, crown/root, and alveolar fractures, and all luxation injuries.
Sensitivity tests on all the teeth in the affected area are recommended. We use cold testing and electric pulp testing (the former is better for younger patients), and often employ both if one of them shows no response. A traumatic injury might make the pulp unresponsive for multiple weeks, so we strive to perform a pulp test at each follow-up visit until we acquire a normal response.
After we’ve confirmed the diagnosis and ruled out more serious complications, like nervous system issues and fractures in the jaw or facial bone, we will begin the emergency stage of treatment. The purpose of this treatment is to preserve or restore the vitality of the pulp in the damaged teeth. Teens and preteens with underdeveloped teeth experience dental trauma most often, and their root development will stop if the pulp is not healthy.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (703) 272-4389.