How to respond to tooth trauma?
What is dental trauma?
The injury most often results from a shock on the tooth and involves 90% of the time the incisors or canines. Premolars and molars are more rarely affected, except in cases of greater trauma, especially during a car accident or during a fight. The tooth may have undergone a fracture, displacement or complete expulsion. These cases do not present the same degree of urgency but nevertheless require a dentist to take charge.
Contusion and crack
A contusion is the least serious trauma. The tooth is intact, does not move and has no external sign of injury. It is nevertheless necessary to monitor the appearance of pain which could mean that the nerve has been affected and eventually lead to the devitalization of the tooth. The latter may also have a crack which is characterized by a cracking of the enamel. It is best to consult a dentist if the pain persists for more than a few days.
The business trip
After a shock, the tooth moves from its cavity and can fully retract into the cavity, emerge slightly or be moved forwards or backward. The tooth is usually painful, and it is necessary to intervene immediately to restore the tooth in place.
The dental fracture is a break in the dental crown in the enamel. However, it can also be deeper and lie at the root of the tooth, thus exposing the pulp. The pain can be very intense, and this type of deep fracture can cause tooth loss. Split can also affect the alveolar bone that surrounds and maintains the tooth
This is the only real emergency. This total removal causes intense pain and may be accompanied by a fracture of the alveolar bone and a lesion in the gum. A dentist should be consulted immediately.
What attitude to adopt in case of expulsion
The first thing to do is to recover the tooth as quickly as possible but without grasping it by the root! It must then be rinsed with cold water or physiological saline, without rubbing it, then stored in a wet box (water, serum phy or raw milk). The injured person must rinse the mouth with water then apply a compress on the alveolus. The tooth may be re-implanted within two hours of expulsion if all conditions for preservation of the tooth have been met. If reimplantation is not possible, the most common solution is the implant.
What about the children?
The management of dental trauma in children is an emergency and requires a quick appointment with a dentist. They are obviously the most affected by this type of accident. In the case of total expulsion of the tooth, implant placement is only possible at the end of growth. It is, therefore, necessary to consider camouflaging while awaiting the appearance of the definitive tooth if it is a tooth of milk, or by suturing if it is an absolute tooth. If the tooth is only moved and the adult who is with the child has a well-hung heart, he may try to replace the tooth itself without the risk of breaking it. An appointment with a dentist is necessary in all cases.
Advice and prevention
Difficult to prevent an accident! However, some precautions nevertheless reduce risk.
- Whatever the age, the practice of a violent sport requires the purchase of a mouth guard.
- Children whose teeth are very advanced and require orthodontic treatment are more vulnerable to shocks. It is, therefore, imperative to treat them quickly.
- Always think of putting a helmet on a bike ride, this protects the head but also reduces the risk of shock to the face in case of a fall.
Nice to know: In the event of dental trauma requiring care and incurring significant costs, get closer to your insurance company. The dentist is entitled to issue an initial medical certificate which may allow full or partial coverage of the cost of care. A fortiori if the accident occurred at the school or in a sports club.