What is dental trauma?
Dental trauma is a term used to describe a variety of dental facial injuries, from minor enamel chippings to more complex fractures that involve the nerves and roots of a tooth. Avulsion of a tooth (a tooth that has fallen out of its socket upon impact) is also common. Dental trauma is a dental emergency and should be seen promptly without delay to avoid further complications, including permanent tooth damage or tooth loss.
There is a wide range of potential causes for dental trauma. It can be a result of biting into a hard object, accidental falls, motor vehicle collisions, sports injuries or interpersonal violence. Dental trauma may be accompanied by other injuries to the head and neck region.
Appropriate diagnosis and a timely response will dramatically improve treatment outcomes when managing traumatic dental injuries. According to the guidelines published by the International Association of Dental Traumatology (IADT), it is best to seek dental treatments within 2 hours of your dental injury to minimise unfavorable outcomes such as permanent loss of the tooth.
Treatment options for a traumatised tooth may include:
Leaving a traumatised tooth untreated will often risk nerve damage which leads to pain, infection and loss of the tooth. To minimise pain, inconvenience and increasing cost of future dental treatment, any dental trauma should be seen promptly and treated with the utmost seriousness.