Traumatic injuries to the teeth occur in a number of ways. They may result from sports injuries or bicycle injuries in children, or from a fall or blow to the face in adults. They may cause the teeth to break or be loosened, or avulsed (knocked out). For most injuries specific treatment protocols must be followed to get optimal results. As specialists in diagnosing and treating dental injuries, Dr. Rick Davis and Dr. Rick Schwartz at Endodontic Consultants of San Antonio know how best to manage the teeth when an accident happens. In many cases, removal of the injured teeth can be avoided.
Our office in San Antonio, Texas frequently treats teeth with fractures. They are relatively common among our pediatric patients but also occur in adults. Not all types of fractures are the same. The nature of the injury, and sometimes the patient’s age, determines the appropriate treatment. Once the proper diagnosis is made the appropriate course of action can be determined and the proper treatment initiated.
If the crown, the visible white part of the tooth, is fractured, it must be determined whether the pulp (nerve) is exposed. If not, all the patient may need is a white filling or cap. If the pulp is exposed more extensive treatment may be necessary such as partial or complete root canal treatment.
If the root is cracked or fractured, treatment will depend on the type and extent of the fracture. Root fractures may be characterized as “horizontal” or “vertical.” In around three-fourths of cases, horizontal root fractures do not require further treatment. They just need to be tested and monitored periodically with additional tests and x-rays. Vertical root fractures can be more problematic. Shallow fractures are not usually a problem, but deep vertical fractures may result in loss of the tooth.
Cracks can also arise due to chronic conditions. Bruxism (teeth grinding) can cause cracks and excessive wear of the teeth. In such cases, teeth may be vulnerable to further damage and there are a number of treatment options to stop or slow this process.
Traumatic injuries are generally more “acute” in nature and time is of the essence to manage them properly and get the best possible result. We have successfully “saved” teeth that have been cracked, loosened, displaced, or even completely knocked out of their sockets.
Dr. Rick Davis and Dr. Rick Schwartz are privileged to treat acute and chronic conditions affecting the teeth of our neighbors throughout South Texas including patients from Boerne, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Laredo, Eagle Pass, Del Rio, Bulverde, Spring Branch, Cuero and Yorktown among others.