It only takes a split second for an oral injury to occur, a split second that can cause serious dental damage, including tooth loss. At Ridgewood Dental Associates, you'll find the latest restorative dentistry treatments to repair dental damage and improve the health and beauty of your smile. Preventing tooth loss after an oral injury is often possible, especially when the right steps and fast action are taken. You can protect your smile from oral injury and tooth loss with these tips from our Ridgewood, NJ dentists.
Common Causes of Oral Injury
Most oral injuries happen without warning, making them difficult to prevent. Some of the most common causes of oral injuries include:
- Being involved in a car or motorcycle accident
- Getting hit in the face
- Biting a hard object, such as a metal pen cap
- Rough housing
- Sports-related injury
Although it may not be possible to prevent certain accidents that can lead to oral injuries, taking precautions when possible can help. Wearing a mouth guard when playing sports can help protect the teeth from sports-related injuries. Chewing gum instead of biting on pen caps can also help prevent injury to the teeth.
What to Do after an Oral Injury
The key to protecting the health of the teeth and preventing tooth loss after an oral injury is to act fast. Scheduling an emergency dental exam if a tooth is dislodged or completely knocked out can help save a tooth and protect oral health. When dental damage is minor or moderate, such as a chip or fracture, it's still important to schedule a dental exam to restore dental health and prevent further damage.
Even if no damage is evident after an oral injury, it is recommended that you see a dentist to ensure that no trauma was sustained to the roots. If the roots were damaged, the teeth may not receive any nourishment, eventually causing them to turn gray or black and die.
Steps to Take if a Tooth Becomes Dislodged or Knocked Out
If a tooth becomes loose or completely falls out as a result of an oral injury, it's important to take fast action. In many cases, knowing what to do and acting fast can help save a tooth from being lost. Follow these steps to help protect your smile after an oral injury:
- If a tooth is knocked out, locate the lost tooth as quickly as possible
- Lift the tooth by the crown and avoid touching the roots
- Clean the tooth in milk or, if milk is not available, a saline solution made of table salt and water
- Take care to prevent the tooth from drying out
- Carefully replace the tooth in the gum socket
- Keep the tooth in place using light pressure by gently biting down on a piece of gauze or clean cloth
- Schedule an emergency dental appointment
Seek Restorative Treatment
Those who have suffered from dental damage or tooth loss as a result of an oral injury can enjoy a restored smile with dental treatment. Chipped or fractured teeth may be restored with porcelain veneers or dental crowns. Individually missing teeth may be replaced with dental implants paired with dental crowns while multiple missing teeth may be replaced with implant-supported bridges or implant-supported dentures. To find out which treatment is right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation at Ridgewood Dental Associates today.