Injury to the front tooth in childhood is very common. Kids with slightly protruded teeth or poorly aligned teeth are often victims of such injuries. Sometimes the teeth fracture. Many times, the tooth that receives the blow does not crack or fracture but just turns brown over the next few years. They are seldom noticed till teenage, until they become a cosmetic problem. The patient or the parent comes to the dentist with just one request – please turn the tooth white. While masking the colour is an easy treatment, we should not treat such browned teeth lightly since such teeth are prone to cyst formation. When any front tooth receives a sudden blow, the blood supply to the tooth through the tip of the tooth is sometimes crushed resulting in pulp necrosis (death) which leads to the browning of the tooth.
Therefore, before we seek a solution for the cosmetic problem or mask the discoloration of the tooth, an x-ray investigation and tooth vitality (blood supply) teeth are a must. If the x-ray reveals any damage to the root tip or build up of pus, or a cyst at the root end, it will need a root canal treatment. Sometimes if the cyst has formed and is large, it may also need a small curettage at the root end to remove the infection.
These cysts are notorious to stay silent for years and flare up to life threatening infections suddenly. Hence they need to be handled early and with care. If the cyst has enlarged and loosened the tooth’s attachments, it may even fall out by itself.
In a few cases , like that of the first year medical student of Tirupathi, the tooth could not be saved since it was resorbing (dissolving away by itself). She approached Apollo White Dental Center of Tirupathi and was counselled by Dr. Sunitha, the Root Canal Specialist that the tooth is now beyond saving and needs to be removed. She was also provide three options for replacement – a removable denture, (which she will have to remove during sleep), a bridge (that would require taking support from the healthy, neighboring tooth) , and an implant, a titanium root form that will replace the tooth instantly. The 18 year old was happy that she will not have to live without a tooth even for a few minutes and agreed for the third option. Dr. Avinash Reddy, the surgeon, removed the tooth from the socket without any damage to the bone structure and Dr. Sanketh Reddy, the implantologist, places the titanium implant in the socket and innovatively used the girl’s own tooth (that was removed) and fixed it on the implant to give it the most natural replacement. Now the teenager has a stable tooth, that will last her a life time and will feel and have the biting efficiency just like her natural tooth. It requires no extra care and no one (including herself) will ever be able to notice that it is a prosthetic replacement.