Imagine that you're preparing for an important day and suddenly, your tooth gets chipped. There's nothing more frustrating than damaging your teeth in the most inconvenient time. No matter how terrible you think it is, dental trauma is more common than you think and can occur in many different ways, in any time.
Knowing how to manage dental trauma as fast as you can is extremely necessary to prevent prolonged infection and possibly, oral cavity cancers. In a recent study, it is found out that oral cavity cancers commonly occur in sites or potential areas of dental trauma. This information is especially true for nonsmokers who does not have any other risk factors.
Dental trauma is not just about a chipped tooth. It can be more than that and it's important to be aware of the possible injuries that your pearly whites are at risk of. There are three types of injuries that your teeth may experience: fracture, avulsion, and luxation. These types have different severity level and here's what you should do if you experience one of them
Types of Dental Traumas
Ellis class I
This may be the classification that we first think about when talking about dental fracture. This involves the fracture of the superficial enamel and the damage is not penetrated to the deeper parts of the tooth. There is no need of emergency care from the dentist but if you want to get the fracture fixed, you can save the chipped part of the tooth and bring it to the dentist. He may or may not be able to fix it, but bring it anyway.
Ellis class II
The dentin is already exposed, making you more sensitive to temperature and palpitation. It can get really uncomfortable and more damage will be inflicted if you do not go to your dentist within 24 hours to get some help. The exposed dentin should be covered by dental cement to make sensitivity better.
Ellis Class III
This is the first real case of dental "emergency" when the enamel, dentin, and pulp are already exposed. Aside from discomfort, the patient may also experience pain and but it is strongly advised not to apply topical pain killers as it will only worsen the infection. The pulp houses the living, connective tissues and tiny nerves that allows the sufferer to feel sensitivity.
It is advised that the patients should have an immediate dental treatment before more bacteria is penetrated to the opening. Dental cement is the quickest solution to this type of emergency.
Ellis class IV
Root fracture is the worst and last type of dental fracture. In this classification, your tooth roots are exposed and coronal segment extraction is required. Most of the time, the tooth in this classification is already badly infected and damaged that a simply dental cement won't do anything better. The dentist usually performs root canal treatment to salvage whatever there is left to save from the tooth.
You're not with your dentist 24/7 and in case you experience one of the traumas, here are some things that you can do to relieve the situation temporarily.
If you accidentally break a part of your tooth, save the pieces and wash your mouth with a lukewarm water. If bleeding occurs, apply gauze to that area until the bleeding stops. Once it stops, apply cold compress and go to your dentist as soon as possible. Bring the broken pieces with you for a possible reattachment.
Putting cold compress to the dislodged tooth will prevent it from swelling and further infection.
Knocked Out Tooth
It is best to find the knocked out tooth. Pick it up from the crown end and not in the root part. Rinse it well but do not scrub to preserve any tissue fragments. It may or may not be reattached by your dentist but this is the best way to preserve the tooth and making reattachment possible. If not, your dentist can suggest a dental procedure that can work best for tooth replacement. The procedure depends on the damage that your teeth have acquired.
For any type of dental trauma, it is best to ask for a professional advice from your dentist. If you want a stronger and healthier teeth structure, you can always resort to improving your diet and your dental care routines. Having a strong and healthy set of pearly whites is your best protection against damage.