Tooth Trauma (Part III of IV)

If a tooth has been displaced in a traumatic accident, as long as the x-ray doesn’t show any root fractures, then the dentist can usually move the tooth back into its original position. Then, the tooth is usually splinted to the adjacent teeth during the healing period. This is done by attaching a wire to the front teeth with composite. Composite is the tooth colored filling material routinely used to fill cavities.
When one of the teeth has been chipped, the primary focus tends to be on that tooth. However, in a traumatic injury to the mouth, it is not unusual to have multiple teeth having been injured. When a tooth fractures, then, the force of the blow is dissipated. Unfortunately, the intact teeth will transmit all of the energy of the insult directly onto the end of the root. The problem with this is that the end of the root is where the nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth. If the force is great enough, then the nerve and blood vessels can be severed. This will cause the nerve to die and will necessitate root canal treatment to save the tooth. It’s hard for a dentist to tell right away whether a traumatically injured tooth may need root canal treatment. Many times, it takes up to six months before a dead nerve can be detected, and there are times that the damage will show up decades after the initial injury.