An accident does not always have to take place on a large scale with a cast on the leg. A dental accident that only involves “little things” is on the one hand at least as painful and on the other hand no less complex in terms of treatment.
- The tooth or the fragment must never be stored in a dry place.
- It must be stored in a tooth box, cold UHT milk, isotonic saline solution, cold plastic wrap or in saliva until it reaches the dentist.
- Tooth fragments can be reattached with plastic glue.
- If dentures are necessary, the statutory health insurance only pays the fixed cost allowance.
Act correctly in the event of a tooth accident
A dental accident can lead to three conditions:
- The victim is lucky and the tooth has only loosened.
- The tooth is completely released from the jaw.
- Parts of the tooth have broken off.
Each of these three conditions requires a specific course of action, but all of them require a visit to a dentist or the dental emergency service .
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The first step is to check whether there are still tooth fragments in the mouth and throat area . These must be removed to avoid further injury.
If the tooth has only loosened, the patient should not bite hard so that the tooth does not fall out. If a part of the tooth has broken off, it helps to store the fragment in cold UHT milk or a cold, disinfected plastic film for transport to the dentist. If the tooth has become completely detached from the jaw in the accident, it may only be touched by the tooth crown for storage and transport purposes in order to avoid contamination of the root.
The tooth is stored in cold UHT milk or a plastic film in the same way as the fragment. The tooth or the fragments must not be cleaned under any circumstances after the tooth accident . The patient should see a doctor within an hour . An isotonic saline solution is also suitable as a storage form .
Helpful in case of a tooth accident: the tooth rescue box
Ideally, however, a tooth rescue box is available at the scene of the accident. The tooth rescue box contains a special solution that enables storage for 24 hours. Sports clubs are well advised to have such a box available for emergencies in addition to the classic first aid kit. Such boxes are rarely found in private households. In the majority of cases, dental accidents also happen outside of your own four walls, for example when doing sports.
If none of the above storage options are available, the tooth must be placed in saliva . Under no circumstances should it be stored in water or allowed to dry out in order to allow implantation in the jaw.
Treatment options for a broken tooth
If a piece of the tooth has broken off, it depends on whether a nerve has been damaged. This is the case if the break is bleeding. In this case, immediate action is necessary. The nerve can become inflamed as a result of bacterial effects, resulting in a root canal treatment.
A chipped tooth fragment can now be connected to the tooth again very easily . The splinter is glued on with a plastic glue, the glue seam is hardly visible, if at all. However, the patient has to spare the tooth for a while and make sure that it fits back into the dentition.
If the fragment cannot be glued on, a partial crown is placed on the remaining tooth , or the entire tooth is crowned. Ceramic crowns are used in the visible area of the mouth. If the nerve canal has been opened by the break, the tooth nerve must be removed and the root treated. The tooth is then refilled with replacement material.
Who bears the costs?
Depending on the treatment method, the costs will be covered in whole or in part by the health insurance . In the case of dentures , patients receive a fixed cost subsidy, but have to bear the difference to the total costs themselves.
If the accident insurance plans to cover the costs, detailed documentation from the treating dentist is necessary. If the injury was caused by outside interference, it must be checked whether the person who caused the injury must bear part of the costs himself or through his liability insurance .
Treatment options for a knocked out tooth
If the tooth is completely detached from the jaw, it can definitely be reinserted. First, the dentist adjusts it in the original position in the jaw. Then it is fixed to the neighboring teeth by a wire frame. The attachment remains in place for around four weeks.
If the dental nerve is damaged, a root canal treatment is necessary. This can be seen when the tooth remains numb.