3 Treatment Steps When Your Child Has A Luxated Tooth
Children often suffer dental injuries during sports or other physical activities. One potential injury is a luxated tooth, which happens when trauma pushes the tooth either out of or too deeply into its supporting socket. Prompt treatment from your family dentist can usually save the tooth from extraction and ensure your child's smile remains attractive and healthy.
What are the treatment steps involved when your child has a luxated tooth?
Cleaning and Splint
The dentist will first want to make sure no debris such as dust or small stones became lodged in the area during the trauma. Dental tools and potentially an antibiotic rinse will be used to clean and sterilize the area surrounding the affected tooth.
The tooth then needs to be pushed back into its proper position. Your dentist can usually shift the tooth manually. A splint is then placed behind the tooth to keep the tooth in place during the healing process. If the tooth is a baby tooth, the treatment might end at the splint and its healing time, which allows the tooth's root to regain a hold in the socket. Adult luxated teeth often require more treatment to keep the tooth healthy for the long term.
Root Canal with Temporary Crown
An adult luxated tooth will often require root canal therapy because the pulp material inside the tooth becomes damaged as it shifts out of place.
Root canals require the dentist to open the crown of the tooth to scrape out the affected pulp then wash the canal with an antibiotic rinse. A bio-cement type of material is injected into the canal to prevent more pulp from entering. The tooth is then closed with a temporary crown until a permanent crown can be made.
A permanent crown is an artificial porcelain cap that is bonded over the exterior surface of the natural tooth. Your child's dentist will create the crown based on impressions of the natural tooth.
The temporary crown is removed to make way for the natural crown, which can cover only the top of the tooth where the hole was made or cover the entire exterior of the tooth. If the tooth in question is a molar or other type of tooth that takes on a lot of bite force during chewing, your dentist might recommend a metal-backed porcelain crown. This type of crown is stronger, but the metal is also visible at the bottom line of the crown. A full-tooth crown, where the line blends into the gums, might be a better option.
The exterior of your child's tooth will need to be lightly filed to allow for adhesion between the bonding material, the tooth, and the crown. Find out more here about this and other dental concerns.