Long Island Endodontics is much more than a state-of-the-art dental practice that specializes in root canal treatments. While it is true that we have advanced training in surgical and nonsurgical therapy, allowing us to perform both routine and complex procedures, our team is dedicated to providing quality, pain-free care in as comfortable and caring a setting as possible. This is almost especially beneficial in the treatment of patients enduring dental trauma.
What is an Endodontist and when do you call them?
In case you are not familiar, an endodontist performs various endodontic surgeries, such as root canals, as well as addressing traumatic dental injuries. Dentists will refer patients to an endodontist when an infected tooth has a complex root canal system, frequently an issue with multi-rooted teeth like molars or premolars. Other surgeries performed by an endodontist includes repairing an injured root, or even removing one or more roots, something also aggravated by a traumatic injury.
Dental trauma, to be clear, is an injury to the teeth, gums, or nearby tissue (such as the lips or tongue). And the origin of such trauma can come from anywhere; from bike accidents to sports injuries to slip-and-falls at home. Often, the difference between saving and losing a tooth comes down to knowing how to handle just such a dental emergency.
A variety of trauma treatments
A tooth which has been completely knocked out of its socket is known as an “avulsed” tooth. This is often caused by trauma to the mouth and requires immediate treatment to save the tooth. Prognosis depends on a few different factors.
- How long was the tooth outside the mouth? (Over an hour can result in the death of periodontal ligament cells)
- How was the tooth stored? (Milk is best, but the most important thing is that the tooth does not dry out, or else the periodontal ligament will not survive)
- Was the tooth immediately re-inserted? (After washing, it is the preferable course of action)
The less time a tooth is out of its socket, the better chance the specialists at Long Island Endodontics have of saving it.
Conversely, most chipped or fractured teeth can be repaired by either reattaching the broken piece or with a tooth-colored filling. If you feel pain when eating or when the temperature changes, it is possible you have a tooth fracture. While generally simple to repair, there is a surprising variation of the degrees of seriousness when discussing tooth fractures. Fractured cusps and cracked teeth need more advanced care, for example. The type of treatment will depend on the type of dental trauma you sustained. If a larger portion of your tooth crown is broken off, an artificial crown or “cap” may be needed to restore the tooth. If the pulp is exposed or damaged after a fracture, root canal treatment may be required.
If a tooth is dislodged, it is known as a “luxated” tooth. As a result of trauma, a tooth may end up out of its socket (known as an extrusive luxation) or be pushed further into the socket (intrusive luxation). It can go sideways within the socket (lateral luxation) or be knocked loose within the socket (subluxation). Treatment depends on the severity of the damage, of course.
Among the most serious forms of dental trauma are “root fractures.” Symptoms of a root fracture include tenderness and pain when eating. While fractures close to the tip of the root have improved chances of being saved, fractures close to the tooth’s gum line create a variety of problems.
The next best thing to prevention.
As you can see, traumatic dental injuries require special attention. Prevention is always ideal, but dental trauma is difficult to prevent against because it is usually the result of an accident. Of course, you should always protect yourself to prevent tooth trauma in any high-risk situations, such as sports. That said, when prevention doesn’t work, it is extremely important you seek professional help as soon after the injury as possible. The experts at Long Island Endodontics offers care that is supported by decades of extensive education dedicated to the performance of the very best in endodontics. Call our office ASAP at (516) 667-1970.