Being engaged in contact sports means being especially susceptible to a variety of injuries, such as dental trauma or teeth injury. According to DentalCare.com, an issue from the Journal of the American Dental Association reports that between 13-39% of dental injuries are sports-related, with males twice more likely to sustain injuries than females. The numbers are mainly attributed to non-wearing of mouth guards. Recent studies also show that of all contact sports, basketball has the highest injury rate due to hand or elbow contact and collision with other players.
Such close contact, as well as the speed of the game, increases the likelihood for a participant to sustain dental injury. Treatment varies depending on the type, severity and location of injury. Below are the three common types of tooth injury:
Chipped/fractured tooth. Most cases can be repaired either by filling/restoration or by reattaching the broken piece. An artificial crown may be needed if a significant part of the tooth is chipped off. If the pulp (the part of the tooth containing soft connective tissues) is exposed, a root canal treatment may be required. In cases of split tooth where the cracks reach the roots, treatment options include root canal treatment and full coverage crown or complete extraction.
Dislodged tooth. In some injuries, the tooth may be pushed deep into its socket. The tooth can be saved as long as the pulp remains intact. Your emergency dentist near Scranton, PA may require you to wear a splint to reposition and stabilize your tooth to give it a chance to heal. If the pulp is damaged, a root canal treatment may be needed to prevent your tooth from developing an infection; this will have to be started a few days after the injury.
Knocked-out tooth. If the tooth is completely knocked-out of the mouth, handle the tooth with care. Avoid touching the root and if it is soiled, gently wash it with a cold and clean water; never scrape or brush it. To keep the living cells alive for a couple of hours, keep the tooth in milk or the patient’s saliva to prevent the root from drying out. Remember, time is essential and the longer the tooth is out of its socket, the likelier it can’t be saved.
In cases where the patient suffers from dental anxiety, a Dallas, PA sedation dentist from facilities like Back Mountain Dental offers a pain-free solution, with which the patient will have little to no memory of the procedure. Dental injury is an emergency which can result in permanent tooth loss so see a dentist as soon as you can.