Just like scrapes and scratches everyday life can result in uneven or chipped teeth at the toddler stage of childhood. This is the time when these youngsters are learning to navigate their world and there are bound to be falls and bumps. It is also quite common for a pediatric dentist to receive a call about a damaged tooth due to a playground mishap. A minor injury to a baby tooth is one thing but a fractured permanent tooth is a much more serious matter.
Fractures are identified according to class going from minor inflictions to the tooth’s enamel to deep down impairment of the root. Class 1 fractures to the edge of a tooth will usually only need to be smoothed out, though some may need to be bonded with a composite filling. A larger class 2 fracture that has affected the dentin layer will cause some sensitivity and will definitely require a filling. A pediatric dentist may use a composite material to rebuild the tooth, but when the child matures that filling may be replaced by one made of porcelain that to better match the natural shade of the tooth’s enamel.
If a fracture is bad enough to be identified as a class 3 it means that the inner pulp of the tooth has been corrupted and is at risk for infection. The dentist will apply medication to avoid contamination and the pulp should heal on its own from there. Class 4 fractures are rare. When they do occur the tooth may be beyond repair and have to be lost. Even if the tooth is able to be saved it may prove to be troublesome in the future.
When your child suffers a blow to the mouth you may see a lot of blood. Don’t be too alarmed by this, it is normal and often due to a tear in the piece of tissue right under the upper lip. Bleeding may last for several minutes but the healing process will be speedy. Stitches are rarely necessary.