Dental trauma is unpredictable and most commonly happens in the home, with school being the second most common location. Injuries occur through direct or indirect impact, but the extent of the injury is directly related to the energy of impact, shape of the impacting object, direction of the impact, and the reaction of the tooth and surrounding tissue.
Dental trauma can manifest with bleeding from the oral soft tissue or the actual tooth socket. Bruising or swelling of the soft tissue at the trauma site may occur. Dental injuries can involve a single tooth or multiple teeth. For example, the entire tooth or half of the tooth could be avulsed from the socket, or pieces of the tooth could be chipped off. The tooth could be luxated or mobile, and the patient may complain of pain or sensitivity. Luxation injuries are most common in primary teeth, and typically have favorable outcomes. However, avulsions are the most traumatic and severe form of TDIs and have less favorable outcomes.
The goal in managing dental trauma is full recovery of the dental pulp and periradicular tissues. If proper healing does not take place, complications can arise months or years after the injury. Concerns such as pain, tooth discoloration, apical periodontitis, pulp necrosis, fistulas, or external inflammatory root resorption can develop, resulting in the need for more extensive treatment or tooth loss. When the injury occurs, trauma first aid should be provided immediately, coupled with a timely examination by an oral health professional