Care and Treatment for Injured Teeth

13 June 2020

Oral and dental hygiene may be easy for adults, unlike children whose oral and dental hygiene have to be taken care of with proper supervision.

Injuries to various parts of the body as well as the mouth and teeth are common among children and like other parts of the body, the teeth can also be injured as a result of active activities. Besides this, a child who is not secured in a safety seat or who does not use a seat belt is an invitation for injuries to various parts of the body including the teeth.

Dr Jama’iah Mohd Sharif, Consultant Dental Paediatrician at Sunway Medical Centre said there are various stages of injury and the most common injury to the mouth among children and adolescents are injuries in the mouth and dental injuries.

The types of dental injuries, whether to milk or permanent teeth, include cracked tooth, chipped or broken tooth, broken crown that involves the tooth’s enamel layer, dentine or pulp, ans broken both the crown and the root.

“Besides broken tooth injuries, common dental injuries include loose tooth, partial dislodged tooth, tooth lodged deep into the socket, tooth positioning is not aligned with the rest, and dislodged tooth,” Dr Jama’iah said.

Besides dental injuries, there may be injuries to the soft or hard tissues around the affected teeth. Dr Jama’iah said early treatment for any type of dental injury is important to ensure the best treatment and results.

For example, in the case of a broken permanent tooth, the tooth fragment can be re-sealed as there are some cases where the chipped tooth was successfully put together. However, if the tooth is only slightly chipped, you do not need the fragment and should immediately go to the nearest dental clinic.

“For dental injuries where a permanent tooth is completely dislodged, try to find it at the area where the injury occurred. Make sure to hold it at the crown (the white part of the tooth) and if it looks a bit dirty, run it under water for a while.

“If the situation permits, try inserting the tooth into its socket and getting the victim to bite a handkerchief to ensure the tooth is stable. If this method is unsuccessful, place the tooth in a container of fresh milk or normal saline, and see a dentist immediately,” Dr Jama’iah said, emphasising the importance of bringing the victim to the nearest dental clinic.

She added that the tooth can be kept in the mouth of the victim, in the area between the cheeks and lower gums, but the victim has to be careful and monitored at all times for the risk of swallowing or the tooth entering the respiratory tract. This method is not suitable for children and those with special needs who cannot understand and follow instructions clearly.

Dr Jama’iah advises for the mouth and teeth to be checked, even if the child does not complain of pain and has no signs of injuries or bleeding.

“This should be emphasised in the event of an accident or incident involving the face. Immediately check the mouth and teeth, and bring the victim to see a dentist immediately. Do no wait until the child complains of pain or swelling,” she said.

Regarding the methods of treatment, Dr Jama’iah said there is a slight difference between the treatment of milk teeth and permanent teeth. The treatment depends on several factors such as the child’s health, chronic medical conditions, bleeding conditions, special needs and others.

“Other aspects depend on the level of the child’s cooperation, commitment of the parents or guardian, the degree of dental injury, and the degree of tooth growth. There are various treatment methods that may be given appropriately. For example, dental filling for a broken tooth (with or without root treatment), special wire fittings for cases of loose tooth, reinsertion of dislodged tooth, and even tooth extraction,” she said.

She explained that regardless whether the injury occurred to a milk or permanent tooth, immediate treatment is important to ensure an easier treatment or one that is more conservative.

“Immediate treatment will provide better results and allow good dental health to be maintained. Delay in treatment can cause complications such as infections and swelling which cause treatments to be more complicated and expensive, and possibly for the tooth to be beyond repair,” she said.

Source: Berita Harian

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