What Happens When Winter Sports Leave You With a Dental Injury?

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Winter recreation and sports, such as snowmobiling, skiing and snowboarding are popular pastimes for individuals and families this time of year. Wearing a helmet and a mouthguard can go a long way to protecting yourself from oral injury when engaging in these activities, but still, accidents do happen, and when they do, what will you do if you or a loved one sustains facial trauma?

Managing a dental trauma usually involves enlisting a team of specialists that might include general or pediatric dentists, periodontists, oral surgeons and endodontic specialists to save a severely damaged tooth especially the pulp, pulpal space, and root. Let’s take a look! Our team specializes in treating traumatic dental injuries to save injured teeth. We can help you whether your injury is a cracked, fractured, chipped or avulsed (knocked-out).

Treating dental trauma depends on the location and kind of injury as well as the severity, how the tooth was treated and how your body responded to the treatment. Our experienced team is prepared to accommodate your emergency and offer pain relief as well as effective treatment to save your teeth wherever possible.

While chipped teeth are the most common dental injury, you will still need to have the tooth looked at within 12 hours, especially if it is loose or tender when touched. If you can save the chipped pieces, they might be reattached using a bonding material.

Immediate treatment is often vital when aiding dislodged or knocked-out teeth to prevent resorption of the tooth’s root by the body. When treating a knocked-out (avulsed) permanent tooth, timing is crucial to ensure the tooth’s survival and successful re-implantation. If you have a tooth knocked out, call us (or your dentist) right away. You will want to place the tooth in a container of cold milk or saltwater, a plastic bag with saliva, or in the mouth between your teeth and cheek. Avoid cleaning or touching the tooth roots if possible because we will need the ligaments intact to increase the odds of a successful replant. If an avulsed tooth can’t be saved, it may be replaced with a dental implant.

If an injury to a tooth (or teeth) exposes the pulp, a root canal treatment may save the day and the tooth. This includes fractured cusps if the tooth is a molar, and with root canal treatment, it will involve a crown as well. If your tooth involves a severe split, it may be extracted. For a tooth which has been pushed out of or into the socket or knocked sideways, treatment involves repositioning the tooth and stabilizing it. If it was a permanent tooth, a root canal is often needed, eventually followed by a permanent filling or crown.

If you are actively involved in winter sports and recreation, you can protect yourself by wearing a helmet and a sports guard. If you are walking on ice, you can wear snow and ice cleats on the bottom of your shoes or boots to navigate icy pavement more safely. But in the event of an accident or injury, our skilled team is prepared to assist you with your dental injuries. If you have any questions or concerns about tooth issues or a dental injury, please feel free to reach out to our team today!