How to manage dental accidents

What would you do if your child’s tooth got knocked out as a result of an accident? This is the challenge many parents face every day. This kind of scenario is commonly known as a dental avulsion.

It happens when a tooth gets displaced from the socket (its natural position), with or without a fracture. If this happens on a permanent tooth and treatment is sought early enough, the tooth can be easily fixed back to its original position.

What to do
As soon as a child’s tooth gets knocked out of the socket, the parent or caretaker should make an effort to put it back into the socket by themselves.
This can be done by grabbing the avulsed tooth by the upper crown (upper part of the tooth that has no blood) and then try to insert it back as quickly as possible, before any foreign body gets attached to it.

If this is not done immediately, the nerves, blood vessels and other supporting tissues may get damaged, making it difficult for the tooth to be repaired or re-implanted. If the tooth is knocked out completely and cannot be inserted back, it should be kept it in a moist, clean environment, such as a glass of water and before the child is taken to a dentist.

The dentist can easily fix an avulsed tooth, without any complications especially if there is no fracture on the surrounding bones. This can be done by re-planting the debris on the socket. The success rate also depends on how quickly treatment was sought.

When a person experiences pain after a re-implant, a root canal treatment may be performed. Depending on how loose the tooth is, the dentist may also decide to hold it in place by using ceramic composite or soft wire.

In case there is no fracture to the tooth or around the supporting bones, it will firmly re-attach within a period of four weeks. However, if there are other damages, healing and repair may take up to eight weeks.

Prevention
To prevent children from getting a tooth avulsion, the following steps are crucial.
•Wear a mouth guard when playing any contact sport.
•Avoid fights, as a person can have their tooth knocked out in the process.
•Do not eat hard foods such as bones or hard corn.
Regular visits to the dentist will help monitor the condition and ensure that the healing process is successful.

The writer is a dentist
krdent@yahoo.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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