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Broken or Knocked-out Teeth (cont.)

Follow-up for Broken Teeth

Whether in the Emergency Department or a dental office, follow-up care is of paramount importance. The dentist or oral surgeon should provide definitive care. Several examinations, over the course of weeks, may be necessary to ensure that complete healing has occurred. Tooth injury can occur if the pulp is damaged, even if no obvious damage is seen.

Preventing Broken Teeth

People seldom plan to fall and injure their teeth. Therefore, there is little to offer in the way of prevention other then keeping the environment clear of debris. However, for people engaged in sports, it is wise to use a mouth guard. These rubber devices are inexpensive and could prevent serious dental injury. You can buy them at most sporting goods stores or ask your dentist to fit you with one.

What is the prognosis for broken teeth?

  • For knocked-out primary (or baby) teeth, there are frequently no long-term problems unless the permanent tooth was damaged. Sometimes the remaining baby teeth drift together and narrow the space for the new adult tooth.
  • With adult teeth, the sooner the tooth is reimplanted, the better its chance of survival. Once an adult tooth is lost, it can never be replaced.
  • For broken teeth, the more superficial the injury, the better the outcome. Once the nerve or blood supply is compromised, the worse the final result.
  • Pushed-in teeth typically erupt on their own, if there is no underlying damage to bone, nerve, blood supply, or the developing adult tooth.

Medically reviewed by Kenneth Rotskoff, MD, DDS; Board Certified Dentistry, Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery


"Facial trauma in adults"

Last Reviewed 11/20/2017
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