Injuries to the mouth can cause teeth to be pushed back into their sockets. Your emergency dentist or general dentist may reposition and stabilize your tooth. Root canal treatment by Dr. Angulo is usually started within a few weeks of the injury and a medication, such as calcium hydroxide, will be placed inside the tooth. Eventually, he will place a permanent root canal filling.
Sometimes a tooth may be pushed partially out of the socket. Again, your emergency dentist or general dentist may reposition and stabilize your tooth. If the pulp remains healthy, then no other treatment is necessary. However, if the pulp becomes damaged or infected, Dr. Angulo would help make that determination and, if necessary, perform the root canal treatment.
If an injury causes a tooth to be completely knocked out of your mouth, it is important that you are treated immediately! If this happens to you, keep the tooth moist. If possible, put it back into the socket. A tooth can be saved if it remains moist. You can even put the tooth in milk or a glass of water (add a pinch of salt.) Your emergency dentist, general dentist or Dr. Angulo may start root canal treatment based upon the stage of root development. The length of time the tooth was out of your mouth and the way the tooth was stored, may influence the type of treatment you receive.
Injuries in children
An injured immature tooth may need one of the following procedures to improve the chances of saving the tooth:
This procedure encourages the root to continue development as the pulp is healed. Soft tissue is covered with medication to encourage growth. The tip of the root (apex) will continue to close as the child gets older. In turn, the walls of the root canal will thicken. If the pulp heals, no additional treatment will be necessary. The more mature the root becomes, the better the chance to save the tooth.
In this case, the unhealthy pulp is removed. Doctor Angulo will place medication into the root to help a hard tissue form near the root tip. This hardened tissue provides a barrier for the root canal filling. At this point, the root canal walls will not continue to develop, making the tooth susceptible to fractures. So it is important to have the tooth properly restored by your general dentist.
One of the things that often may occur with traumatized (or chronically infected) teeth is a phenomenon called “resorption.” This is a process whereby specific areas of the hard tooth structure will dissolve or break down gradually over time. There typically is no pain associated with this slow destruction of the tooth. So, often, if left completely unattended, enough of the tooth may dissolve away that it may no longer be savable. But, if identified early by your general dentist or Dr. Angulo, the tooth may still be saved, usually starting with standard root canal treatment.