• Dr Brayden Weber

Dental Trauma Guide

In light of recent events I thought It would be a good idea to write this Dental Trauma Guide for parents to follow if your child has a fall and damages their teeth. These are very common injuries.

Dental injuries to baby teeth occur in up to 30% of children and by the age of 14 years old 22% of children will have had trauma to their adult teeth. The ages most common when injuries occur is between 2-4 years and 8-10 years of age. Upper front teeth are the most commonly injured teeth as they are the least protected of all the teeth. Most injuries are caused by falls, sports and play accidents.

What should I do when trauma occurs?

Injuries due to trauma can vary from mild to severe. In all cases though a thorough but careful exam of you or your child should be undertaken to assess whether there are any major injuries. Even though broken teeth may be worrying to look at in most cases you won’t die from a broken tooth due to trauma. Other injuries such as a concussion or internal bleeding can lead to death and a trip to the hospital is recommended.

If the person who has been injured only seems to have a dental injury, then it is best to see your dentist as soon as possible. All dental injuries have a better long term prognosis when treated early.

If your child has suffered a dental trauma event come and see us. We are located in Cooranbong NSW only a short drive from Dora Creek, Morisset, Toronto and surrounding areas.

What to do if a tooth has been knocked out?

In certain situations, such as a hard fall, sports injury or car accident a tooth may be knocked out. Here are the steps to follow if a tooth has been knocked out.

  1. Keep the child calm

  2. Do not allow the child to eat or drink

  3. Find the tooth then hold onto it by the crown only (top of the tooth)

  4. If the tooth is a baby tooth wrap it up and take to your dentist with the child. Do not put it back in.

  5. If the tooth is an adult tooth and it is clean, place the tooth back into the socket from where it came out.

  6. If the tooth is dirty wash with milk if possible, saline or in the person’s saliva. As a last resort, if none of the other alternative are available, rinse the tooth under cold water for 10 seconds only!

  7. Hold the tooth in place by gently biting on a handkerchief or a clean cloth

  8. If you can’t place the tooth back into the socket store it in one of the following

  9. Milk

  10. Saline

  11. Cling wrap with some saliva to keep it moist

  12. Do not use water!

  13. Seek urgent dental treatment

What do I do if the tooth looks broken?

Sometimes the tooth is broken. If this is the case, follow these steps:

  1. Keep the child calm

  2. Try and find the tooth fragment if not in the mouth

  3. Place the tooth fragment in:

  4. Milk

  5. Saline

  6. Cling wrap with some saliva to keep it moist

  7. Do not use water!

  8. Seek urgent dental treatment

What do I do if the tooth looks like it is no longer in the correct place?

If the tooth looks like it has moved forwards, backwards or pushed up higher follow these steps:

  1. Leave the area the way it is

  2. Seek urgent dental treatment

What will our dentists do?

For every patient we do our very best to save the tooth especially if it is an adult tooth. We may need to:

  1. Encourage and support the person, do a through check and provide first aid.

  2. Clean the area with sterile solutions.

  3. Take x-rays to determine if any further damage to the roots has occurred.

  4. Replace the teeth into the correct position and stabilise it for a few weeks.

  5. Perform a nerve procedure to try keep the nerve alive.

  6. Put a filling over small fractures to protect from bacteria and sensitivity.

  7. If the tooth is too damaged to be saved, remove the tooth or the remaining root.

  8. Stitches to close any deep wounds

Complications after a dental injury:

After a dental injury there may be future complications which your dentist will try and minimise at your appointment.

  1. Nerve could die off and tooth may require a root canal

  2. An abscess could form if the root was fractured in the bone

  3. If a baby tooth has been injured there is a chance that the adult tooth that is developing could also have been damaged

  4. Sensitivity, pain and swelling around the area until the gums and bone heal

Preventing dental trauma

In many cases dental trauma can be prevented. If you have toddlers learning to walk move any coffee tables or furniture that is close to head height for the child.

Sports injuries can be prevented with a well-fitting mouthguard. If you want to know more about mouthguards refer to our mouthguard blog post. We can make them for you.

Non slip mats in bathrooms can help prevent slipping and trauma to teeth.

If you have any further questions about dental trauma please feel free to give us a call. If a visit to the dentist is necessary we will make sure we get you an appointment A.S.A.P. Just remember the faster you see the dentist the better the chance of the tooth being saved!

118 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All