Traumatic Injury and Tooth Damage

Dr. Jeffrey Norden, DDS, discusses traumatic injury and tooth damage.

Loading the player...

Dr. Jeffrey Norden, DDS, discusses traumatic injury and tooth damage.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Jeffrey Norden, DDS

Duration: 2 minutes, 50 seconds

Traumatic injuries to the facial area don’t always involve losing a tooth.

Many times the tooth is fractured or chipped. Many patients will ask what do you do in these cases. The important thing is that you must go to a dentist and have him evaluate it.

And they way they’ll evaluate it is they’ll check to see, first of all, is the tooth fractured below or above where the pulp tissue is. If the pulp tissue is exposed, the injury to that tooth is going to be greater, and the dentist will have to decide whether they’re able to preserve the pulp tissue or whether or not you’ll need a root canal treatment.

And the other thing that the dentist has to evaluate for is whether there’s been a fracture of that root within the socket or, in fact, has the bone holding the root fractured, as well. All those things are important when the dentist evaluates the injury.

If the tooth is fractured and the pulp tissue is not exposed, this is the best possible situation. It’ll allow your dentist to actually do a fairly simple restoration of the tooth using composite enamels that he has within the office.

If the pulp tissue has not been involved, it’s a fairly simple repair for a dentist and may take him less than an hour to reseal and bond some composite enamel back to the tooth and reshape it like the original tooth. An important thing the dentist will do is take an x-ray of that root to identify whether that root has been fractured or, in fact, if there’s a fracture within the bone that actually holds the root.

Of course, if any of those things take place, it’s going to make the treatment of that tooth a little bit more complicated. It can involve things like root canal treatment. It could involve things like splinting of that tooth to the other teeth in your mouth.

Any time there’s a traumatic blow to the tooth, even after it’s repaired, it’s important to have your dentist monitor the tooth, usually on at least a monthly and then a six-monthly basis to see if there’s any changes in the tooth.

You, yourself, can look at your tooth and see if there’s any change in color or if there’s any change in sensitivity to the tooth, including having a little pimple that may develop at the top of the tooth within your gum. All those things are signs that the tooth itself may be going necrotic or non-vital. Important to see your dentist at that point.

Presenter: Dr. Jeffrey Norden, General Dentist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: General Dentist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.