Treating Dental Trauma

Primary versus Permanent Teeth

An estimated 20% of people in the world suffer from trauma to their teeth at some point in their life. Treating trauma to both primary (baby) teeth and permanent (adult) teeth is crucial, but for different reasons. Let’s delve into the importance of treating trauma in each type of tooth!

Dental Trauma in Baby Teeth

Primary teeth, often referred to as “baby teeth,” play a pivotal role in laying the groundwork for future oral health. Here are some of the main reasons trauma these teeth should be treated by a dental professional:

  • Pain and Discomfort: Just like with permanent teeth, trauma to primary teeth often leads to pain and discomfort. Addressing the trauma ensures that the child remains pain-free and comfortable.
  • Prevention of Infection: If a primary tooth is cracked or chipped, it can expose the inner pulp, leading to potential infections. Untreated infections spread, leading to more severe dental or health issues.
  • Guidance for Permanent Teeth: Primary teeth serve as placeholders for permanent teeth, ensuring they erupt in the correct position. If a primary tooth is lost prematurely due to trauma, it might lead to misalignment when the permanent teeth erupt.
  • Development and Function: Primary teeth play a vital role in a child’s ability to chew food adequately and develop proper speech patterns. Traumatized teeth at times impact these functions.
  • Psychological Well-being: Trauma leading to noticeable damage (like a broken or discolored tooth) can affect a child’s self-esteem and confidence, especially during formative years.

Dental Trauma in Adult Teeth

Permanent teeth, designed to serve us for a lifetime, demand consistent care and attention. Here are reasons why trauma to a permanent tooth should be addressed immediately:

  • Longevity: Permanent teeth can last a lifetime. Treating trauma ensures the longevity and functionality of these teeth, preventing premature loss.
  • Prevention of Infection and Complications: Trauma exposes the inner structures of the tooth, leading to infections and abscess formation.
  • Aesthetic and Functional Reasons: A damaged permanent tooth can affect one’s appearance and self-confidence. Additionally, untreated trauma might impair the ability to chew or speak properly.
  • Cost of Non-treatment: If trauma to a permanent tooth is left untreated, it leads to more complex dental issues later on. Addressing the problem immediately helps prevent the need for more invasive and costly treatments in the future.
  • Bone Health: Untreated trauma, especially if it results in tooth loss, can lead to shrinkage or loss of the bone in the jaw, which might require more complex procedures to rectify later.

Who to Contact for Dental Trauma Questions

While both primary and permanent teeth serve different roles in the mouth, it’s essential to treat trauma to ensure optimal oral health, functionality, and overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding trauma to any kind of tooth, contact the Placerville Dental Group. We are here to help you!


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