Everyone knows that their teeth can be broken or knocked out after a trauma to the face, but your teeth can get injured in other ways as well. There is another category of dental injuries that isn't talked about as much: luxation injuries. Here's what you need to know about these painful injuries that often affect multiple teeth.
What is a luxation injury?
Luxation injuries cover a wide range of injuries to the teeth, but what these injuries have in common is that the teeth are displaced from their sockets. The most minor type is a concussion, which means that structures that hold your teeth in place are damaged. The most serious type, on the other hand, is intrusive luxation, which means that your teeth have been pushed down into your jawbone, breaking both the bone and the teeth.
How do luxation injuries occur?
You can injure your teeth in many ways, but the most common way is a fall. Falling down the stairs, slipping in the shower, or slipping in an icy parking lot could all lead to a luxation injury. About 71.6% of luxation injuries happen in this way, so watch your step!
Luxation injuries are also commonly caused by sporting accidents. Bicycling is particularly dangerous, causing 11.5% of luxation injuries. About 3.7% of injuries were caused by other sports, such as hockey or basketball. This is why it's important to wear a mouthguard when you're doing sports.
About 13.2% of luxation injuries are caused by miscellaneous factors, and these factors can be hard to avoid. For example, getting in a car accident could lead to this injury, as could getting punched in the face
How common are luxation injuries?
Dentists see luxation injuries fairly often. Studies have shown that between 15% and 61% of all traumas to the permanent teeth are luxation injuries. Among kids, luxation injuries are even more common. Between 62% and 73% of injuries to baby teeth could be classified as luxation injuries.
Will you loose the injured teeth?
Teeth with luxation injuries can often be saved if the pulp, the sensitive tissue inside the teeth, is intact. If the pulp is damaged or dead, you will need a root canal at the very least, and a complete extraction if that doesn't work.
In minor luxation injuries, the pulp is usually fine. About 3% of people with a concussion injury have pulp necrosis. In the much more serious intrusive luxation, about 85% of people have pulp necrosis. The more serious your luxation injury is, the more likely it is that you will end up losing the affected teeth.
How do dentists treat luxation injuries?
If the dentist thinks your teeth are salvageable, he or she will reposition them in the sockets. Then, the teeth will be held in place with a splint while they heal. This can take as long as 4 weeks. Once the splint is removed, you'll need to see your dentist on a regular schedule for follow up visits. The dentist will check your teeth to make sure the pulp inside the teeth are still healthy; the health of the pulp is a concern for as long as 5 years after the injury.
If the pulp isn't healthy, you may need a root canal. In this procedure, the diseased pulp is removed and replaced with an artificial filling. This procedure can save your teeth, but if it doesn't work, your teeth will need to be extracted.
Luxation injuries are a painful dental emergency. If you've suffered trauma to your face after a fall or a sporting accident, you need to see your dentist right away for treatment. For more information, visit a website like http://www.claremontdentalinstitute.com.