Endodontic Treatments for Traumatic Injuries
How to Save a Knocked-Out Tooth
- PICK UP TOOTH BY THE CROWN, (THE CHEWING SURFACE) NOT THE ROOT.
The tooth should be handled carefully – touch only the crown to minimize injury to the root.
- CLEAN THE TOOTH WITH WATER.
If dirty, gently rinse the tooth with water, remembering not to handle the root surface.
- Do not use soap or chemicals.
- Do not scrub the tooth.
- Do not dry the tooth.
- Do not wrap it in a tissue or cloth.
- REPOSITION TOOTH IN SOCKET IMMEDIATELY, IF POSSIBLE.
The sooner the tooth is replaced, the greater the likelihood it will survive. To reinsert, carefully push the tooth into the socket with the fingers, or position above the socket and close mouth slowly. Hold the tooth in place with fingers or by gently biting down on it.
- KEEP TOOTH MOIST AT ALL TIMES.
The tooth must not be left outside the mouth to dry. If it cannot be replaced in the socket, put it in one of the following:
- Emergency tooth preservation kit.
- Mouth (next to cheek)
- If none of these are practical, use water (with pinch of salt if possible).
- SEE A DENTIST AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Bring the tooth to a dentist or endodontist as soon as possible – ideally within 30 minutes. However, it is possible to save the tooth even if it has been outside the mouth for an hour or more.
Injuries in Children
An injured immature tooth may need one of the following procedures to improve the chances of saving the tooth:
This procedure is used to make the end of a tooth root close in a traumatized tooth with healthy pulp. Your dentist will cover the exposed pulp area with medication to encourage complete root growth. The tip of the root (apex) will continue to close as the child gets older. In turn, the walls of the root canal will thicken. If the pulp heals, no additional treatment will be necessary. The more mature the root becomes, the better the chance to save the tooth.
This procedure is used to make the end of a tooth root close in a traumatized tooth with unhealthy pulp. In this case, the unhealthy pulp is removed. Your dentist will place medication into the root to help a hard tissue form near the root tip. This hardened tissue provides a barrier for the root canal filling. At this point, the root canal walls will not continue to develop, making the tooth susceptible to fractures. So it is important to have the tooth properly restored by your dentist.