Dental Injuries

Dentist Towson

Injury to teeth can be caused by auto accidents, falls, and most commonly, injury from sports such as football, lacrosse, soccer, etc. Patients suffering significant head, neck, or facial trauma should be evaluated and treated in hospital emergency rooms. Dental injury without associated head and neck trauma can be evaluated and usually treated by Drs. Ousborne & Keller. Some common dental injuries include broken (fractured) teeth, ‘knocked out’ teeth or teeth displaced by unexpected external forces. Often, such dental accidents are companied by swelling of the gum and oral tissues.

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Fracture (Broken Tooth)

Tooth fractures can range from minor (involving chipping of the outer tooth layers called enamel and dentin) to severe (involving vertical, diagonal, or horizontal fractures of the root). Enamel and dentin are the two outer protective layers of the tooth. The enamel is the outermost white hard surface. The dentin is a yellow layer lying just beneath the enamel. Enamel and dentin both serve to protect the inner living tooth tissue called the pulp. The visible one-third of the tooth is called the crown, while the remaining two-thirds of the tooth buried in the bone is called the root. Dental X-rays are necessary in most instances to diagnose, locate, and measure the extent of tooth fracture.

Luxation (Displaced/Tooth still in socket, but wrong position )

Displaced (extruded) teeth may be ‘pulled out’ and appear elongated, or be ‘pushed in’ and appear shorter. A displaced tooth can also be pushed forward, backward, sideways, or rotated. The sooner Drs. Ousborne & Keller can evaluate the site, the easier it may be to and splint or reposition the tooth in order to bring it back into proper alignment. Trauma significant enough to cause tooth displacement can also lead to pulp injury. Therefore, a displaced tooth should be evaluated periodically for several months to determine if a root canal procedure or tooth extraction is needed.

Avulsion (Entire Tooth Knocked Out)

Upper front permanent teeth are the most common teeth to be completely knocked out. Time is of utmost importance for successful reimplantation (placing the tooth back into its socket). Teeth reimplanted within one hour of the accident frequently reattach to their teeth sockets. Knocked out permanent teeth should be retrieved, kept moist, and placed back into their sockets (reimplanted) as soon as possible. Knocked out baby or primary teeth are not usually reimplanted in the mouth, since they will be naturally replaced by permanent teeth later. However, it is important to seek dental care immediately when any tooth is knocked out.

Injury Prevention

Sports related dental injuries are the most common and can usually be prevented by wearing face masks and mouthguards . Mouthguards have been shown to reduce trauma to teeth, gums, and the surrounding jaw bone. The use of a mouthguard while participating in sports may also reduce injury to the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) , as well as reducing the intensity and number of head concussions. Mouthguards may also reduce pressure and bone deformation of the skull when a force is directed to the chin. If you are interested having a custom made mouthguard fabricated by Drs. Ousborne & Keller , contact us today to schedule an appointment. (410) 828-1177 or

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If you are experiencing a true dental emergency, please contact Drs. Ousborne & Keller at (410) 828-1177 immediately. If it is after hours, you will be directed how to reach the Doctor on call.