Traumatic dental injuries often occur in accidents or sports-related injuries. Chipped teeth account for the majority of all dental injuries. Dislodged or knocked-out teeth are examples of less frequent, but more severe injuries. Treatment depends on the type, location and severity of each injury. Any dental injury, even if apparently mild, requires examination by a dentist or an endodontist immediately. Sometimes, neighboring teeth suffer an additional, unnoticed injury that will only be detected by a thorough dental exam. Endodontists are dentists who specialize in treating traumatic dental injuries. With their advanced skills, techniques and technologies they can often save injured teeth. If you have a cracked or injured tooth, find an endodontist near you right away! Most endodontists offer tremendous flexibility in accommodating emergency cases including weekends in some cases so your pain can be relieved quickly.
What is endodontic treatment?
Endodontic treatment involves the root canal(s) inside of the tooth derived from “Endo” the Greek word for “inside” and “odont” is the Greek for “tooth.” To understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. The body of a tooth is made of dentin with the crown covered by enamel, one of the hardest substances produced in nature. Inside the tooth, is a soft tissue called the pulp containing blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue, which creates the surrounding dentin and enamel during growth and development. The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. Although the pulp is important during a tooth's growth and development, once it is fully mature the tooth can survive without the pulp.
How will my injury be treated?
Chipped teeth account for the majority of all dental injuries. Dislodged or knocked-out teeth are examples of less frequent, but more severe injuries. Treatment depends on the type, location and severity of each injury. Any dental injury involving the dental pulp of a tooth requires examination by a dentist, pediatric dentist or an endodontist immediately. Sometimes, neighboring teeth suffer an additional, unnoticed injury that will only be detected by a thorough dental exam that will include taking radiographs (x-ray pictures) of the teeth and surrounding bone structures.
Chipped or Fractured Teeth: Most chipped or fractured tooth crowns can be repaired either by reattaching the broken piece or by placing a tooth-colored filling or restoration. If a significant portion of the 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 crown fracture, root canal treatment may be needed. These injuries require special attention. If breathing through your mouth or drinking cold fluids is painful, bite on clean moist gauze or a cloth to help relieve symptoms until reaching your dentist's office. Never apply topical oral pain medications or ointments, or place an aspirin tablet directly to the injured or affected area in the attempt to eliminate pain symptoms, because they can further damage the pulp. Injuries to the back teeth often include fractured cusps, cracked teeth and more seriously a split tooth or teeth. If cracks extend into the root(s), root canal treatment and a full coverage crown may be needed to restore function to the tooth. Split teeth (vertically fractured) may require extraction.