Most dental trauma occurs in children and in the anterior part of the mouth. Common causes are sports related injuries or accidental falls. Usually the upper jaw (maxilla) is affected more than the lower (mandible). Traumatic injury sustained by adults is commonly associated with automobile accidents. Prompt evaluation and necessary dental therapy following trauma allows for a much greater treatment success.
Types of injuries include crown and/or root fractures and luxation injuries. (Movement of the tooth from the socket) The most common is luxation injury of which there are several types. Severity of this injury depends on the amount of displacement of the effected tooth and in which direction. This will determine if healing will be favorable or unfavorable. A luxation injury resulting in an avulsed tooth, one completely knocked out of the mouth, requires immediate attention. It is recommended that if possible, put the tooth back in immediately. The tooth needs to be kept moist so if it cannot be put back in the mouth, placing in milk or water are other options. The length of time the tooth has been avulsed before proper endodontic therapy may dictate the overall prognosis and type of treatment needed.