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Trauma to the Dentition

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Trauma to the Dentition

Dental trauma refers to injuries or damage inflicted on the teeth and their supporting structures due to external forces. Dental trauma can result from various incidents, including accidents, falls, sports injuries, or physical altercations. The severity of dental trauma can range from minor enamel chips to more complex fractures, dislocations, or even complete tooth loss. Here are some common types of dental trauma:



Enamel Fractures

Enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth, and it is quite hard. Trauma may cause enamel fractures, resulting in chipped or broken teeth. Enamel fractures may be superficial or extend into the deeper layers of the tooth.


Dentin Fractures

Dentin is the layer beneath the enamel and is not as hard. Trauma can lead to fractures that extend into the dentin, causing increased sensitivity and potential pain. Dentin fractures may require dental intervention to restore the tooth’s structure and protect the pulp.


Pulpal Injury

  • Extensive Decay: When a primary tooth has extensive decay that cannot be adequately restored with a filling.
  • Pulp Therapy: After pulpotomy or pulpectomy procedures to protect the tooth and maintain its function.
  • Fractured or Weakened Teeth: In cases where a primary tooth is fractured or weakened due to structural issues.


Tooth Luxation

Luxation refers to the displacement of a tooth from its normal position within the socket. Types of luxation include:

  • Subluxation: The tooth is slightly displaced but not completely knocked out.
  • Extrusion: The tooth is partially forced out of the socket.
  • Lateral luxation: The tooth is displaced sideways.
  • Intrusion: The tooth is forced into the socket.



Avulsion occurs when a tooth is completely knocked out of its socket. Quick action is essential to attempt to save the tooth. The tooth should be handled carefully, avoiding damage to the root, and immediate dental attention is necessary to re-implant the tooth.


Root Fracture

Trauma can also lead to fractures of the tooth root. These fractures may be vertical or horizontal and can involve different portions of the root. The severity of root fractures will determine the appropriate treatment, which may include stabilization, splinting, or extraction.


Alveolar Bone Fractures

The bones that support the teeth in the jaw can also be affected by trauma. Fractures to the alveolar bone may impact the stability of the teeth and require stabilization or surgical intervention.

Treatment for dental trauma varies depending on the type and severity of the injury. Immediate dental attention is crucial in many cases to assess the extent of the trauma and initiate appropriate intervention to minimize long-term consequences and preserve dental function and aesthetics. If you experience dental trauma, it’s important to seek prompt professional care.

Woodbridge Family Dental Clinic at Heart Of City of Vaughan


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