What Are Traumatic Dental Injuries?
Traumatic dental injuries are physical injuries to teeth, soft tissues, gums, or periodontium.
Causes of traumatic dental injuries may include:
- Direct impact to the jaw, face, or teeth
- Sports injuries
- Vehicular accident
- Biting into something hard
- Teeth grinding
- Oral habits (chewing pens, ice, etc.)
Specific treatments for injuries to the teeth, gums, and soft tissues may include:
- Dislodged Teeth. In some cases, a tooth that has been pushed sideways or up into its socket may be treated with stabilization and repositioning. In other cases, a dislodged tooth may require a root canal to prevent infection or tooth loss.
- Knocked-Out Teeth. A completely knocked-out tooth may be saved if endodontic treatment is received immediately. In most cases, you will need treatment within one hour to save the tooth. If the tooth cannot be saved, a dental implant can restore your smile and preserve your jawbone.
- Fractured or Cracked Teeth. Fractured teeth that expose the pulp will require a root canal to prevent infection and save the tooth.
Frequently Asked Questions About Traumatic Dental Injuries
Is a chipped tooth a traumatic dental injury?
Small chips in teeth are very common. A significant chip should be treated as soon as possible to prevent further breakage, or to prevent injuries to the soft tissues such as the inside of your cheek or your lips.
Can a tooth that has cracked beneath the gum be saved?
No. Teeth that crack beneath the gum line will need to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant or other dental restoration.
Will an injury to a tooth cause it to die?
It can, and tooth death isn’t always immediately obvious. A tooth can die slowly over months. For the best chance of saving your tooth, see an endodontist as soon as possible after experiencing any direct impact on the teeth, including from a fall, sports injury, or other accident.
Is a lost crown a traumatic dental injury?
A lost crown is a dental emergency and you should contact your general dentist immediately. If you do not replace the crown, the tooth is vulnerable to infection, requiring a root canal to treat.
Are traumatic dental injuries covered by insurance?
Many dental insurance policies offer some coverage for dental emergencies. For specific coverage offered by your dental insurance, contact your carrier.