Common Dental Injuries Resulting from Car Accidents and Their Long-Term Effects

Aug 01, 2023

Dental injuries are rarely thought of when discussing car accident injuries. Car crashes often lead to expansive, painful, and permanent dental injuries. If your teeth are damaged, broken, or knocked out after a car accident, you may experience debilitating pain, inability to speak, eat or drink, and other significant complications. You must seek immediate dental care from our dentist in Austin, TX, to save your tooth and prevent further dental complications.

What Are the Common Dental Injuries from Car Accidents

While dental injuries from car accidents may be minor, there are cases in which your mouth could be severely damaged. Here are common dental injuries caused by car crashes.

Tooth Luxation

During a car accident, your tooth may be loosed and pushed sideways or onto its socket. The tooth will look out of place and can be severely painful. Usually, treating a luxated tooth will include having it repositioned and stabilized back into its place. If necessary, your dentist may also recommend a root canal treatment a few days after the accident.

Avulsed Tooth

This is a tooth that has been knocked out of its socket, and time is considered of the essence. Try to find the tooth, handle it by its crown, and avoid touching the root. Place the tooth in a container with milk, saline solution, or saliva. The dentist will closely examine your tooth, socket, and other dental tissues during the appointments for injury. If you were able to salvage and properly store your tooth, it will increase the chances of it being placed back into the socket.

Fractured Teeth

Car accidents and dental trauma may lead to enamel and root fractures. A tooth fracture may vary in appearance and pain. While fractures could be minor and not cause pain or change your tooth color, you will still require immediate treatment to prevent further damage. For severely fractured teeth, the patient will experience severe pain and discomfort. Fractured tooth treatment usually requires a surgical, dental procedure, or even extraction depending on how severe the crack is and how deep it extends into the root. If left untreated, you are left at risk of having an infection.

What Is a Long-Term Complication of a Dental Trauma?

Long-term complications of dental trauma injuries include:

Pulpal Necrosis

The tooth contains a pulp that consists of blood vessels and nerves and is protected by the enamel. After your tooth is damaged or fractured through dental trauma, the blood supply in your tooth may be disrupted, leading to pulp necrosis. Signs of pulpal necrosis include a persistent gray color on your tooth that doesn’t fade, swelling, sinus infection, or signs of periapical inflammation.

Pulpal necrosis may be treated through a root canal procedure or extraction. To prevent pulpal necrosis, visit our Austin dentist immediately after an accident and practice proper oral hygiene.

Root Resorption

Root resorption is related to the loss of hard tissues and soft tooth tissue caused by dental trauma. Signs of root resorption include swelling and redness around your gums, a pinkish or dark discoloration, pain from the crown or inside the tooth, or cavity-like holes in your teeth. This complication can be treated through a root canal or tooth removal if the damage is severe.

Pulpal Obliteration

This is a dental condition that occurs when the hard tissues deposited along the internal walls of your root canal fill up the pulp leaving it narrow and restricted. Pulpal obliteration usually occurs as a response to dental trauma, especially after luxation injuries or after the tooth was completely knocked out. This long-term complication often occurs several months after replantation.

Signs of pupal obliteration include the lack of pulp sensitivity, yellow tooth discoloration, or visible radiolucency on the pulp’s location after an X-ray.

How Long Does It Take for Dental Injuries to Heal?

According to our dentist near you, the time your dental injury will take to heal is determined by the type of injury and treatment received. There are dental injuries that will require multiple dental appointments throughout their healing process to ensure complete treatment and that your tooth is as it should be. For example, if a patient does not experience internal nerve damage, they will only need six weeks for everything to heal. This is usually the case if only the surrounding tissues supporting the tooth experienced most of the damage. Overall, a dental injury may take weeks, months, or years to recover. You may even be required to have follow-up dental checkups that can last up to five years to ensure that long-term complications such as root resorption don’t occur.

Seek emergency dental care at Lifetime Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry if you have sustained dental trauma injury. Getting treatment early will prevent long-term dental complications that may occur months later.


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