Management of Dento-Facial Trauma
Accidents occur at all ages and range from a chipped tooth to total avulsion (the tooth is knocked out). Generally, more severe injuries involve tears and lacerations to the lips and gum tissue surrounding the teeth. These patients should contact their family dentist immediately. Their dentist will advise them regarding the urgency of immediate care. The long-term survival of traumatized teeth depends on treatment based on an accurate diagnosis and the training and experience of the endodontist. Treatment might involve a follow up visit only, while others need to have teeth repositioned and stabilized with an appropriate splint. Soft tissue damage usually involves sutures to reposition and stabilize the tissue to minimize the healing time. A significant number of these accidents occur in children. We have the reputation of being one of the few endodontic offices to treat children. Both doctors have children and know how parents feel when their child is injured, and we make a special effort to make the child and parent comfortable. We look beyond the immediate condition and advise the parent what to expect as their child matures. Most of the processes that lead to tooth loss are not noticeable to the patient and are only detectable by routine follow up evaluations. We follow our patients until we are confident they are unlikely to develop further problems.