Traumatic Injuries To Primary Teeth

With summer fast approaching, children become more active and the chances of traumatic injuries to their primary front teeth increase.

Here is a brief summary to guide parents on what to do and expect during these challenging situations.

The child should be assessed by the dentist with x-rays and clinical examination as soon as possible. If treatment is necessary, the approach is also dependent on the cooperation of the child. Parents need to check for symptoms of tooth discolouration, mobility, swelling, pain, and interference to the bite. Follow-up appointments at the dentist are necessary to check on the healing and vitality of the tooth.

Fracture of the crown of the tooth
small fracture– no treatment
larger fracture– if cooperation allows, covering the fracture site is ideal
fracture involving the pulp (root canal)- depending on the cooperation of the child and the time lapsed before seeing the dentist, either a pulpotomy or extraction is advised

Fracture of the root

  • depending on the location of the fracture(s), no treatment or extraction may be necessary

Fracture of the bone (alveolus)

  • repositioning of the displaced fragment and placing a splint are necessary
Mixed race little patient showing her perfect toothy smile while sitting dentists chair

Luxation (tooth pushed outward or inward)

  • no significant mobility- no treatment
  • more significant displacement or extrusion (tooth partly outside of socket)- repositioning or extraction may be necessary
  • damage to the permanent tooth is possible

Intrusion (tooth pushed upward)

  • depending on the amount of intrusion, spontaneous eruption is the ideal outcome. If not, extraction may necessary
  • damage to the permanent tooth is possible

Avulsion (tooth completely out of socket)

  • try to find the tooth and confirm that it is not embedded somewhere inside the mouth
  • do not replant tooth

Stay tuned, a future article on traumatic injuries to permanent teeth will follow 🙂

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