Injuries to the mouth can cause teeth to be pushed deeper into their sockets. Your endodontist or general dentist may reposition and stabilize your tooth. Root canal treatment is usually started within a few weeks of the injury and a temporary medication, such as calcium hydroxide, will be placed inside the root. Eventually, a permanent root canal filling will be placed.
Sometimes a tooth may be pushed partially out of the socket. Again, your endodontist 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, root canal treatment will be required.
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.) The length of time the tooth was out of your mouth and the way the tooth was stored will influence the prognosis for keeping the tooth.
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. Pulp 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. The Endodontist places medication inside the root to induce closure of the the root tip. This closure provides a barrier which keeps the root canal filling material in its proper position. At this point, the canal walls will not continue to develop, making the tooth more susceptible to fractures. Therefore, it is important to have the tooth properly restored by your dentist.