The weather’s warming and we know that many of us are starting to hear the siren call of the open road. Although riding is a joy, it also comes with a risk for accidents. And if you get in an accident, there’s a good chance you’ll suffer facial injuries that may include dental injury.

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Orofacial Injury in Motorcycle Accidents

Orofacial injuries are common in motorcycle accidents. Whether you’re thrown over the handlebars or strike an object, you’re likely to impact your face.

The most common injuries in any motorcycle accident are just soft tissue injuries. These will heal, though you may have scars. Road scars are just part of the fun of riding.

More serious injury can lead to broken bones and tooth damage–you may even lose teeth. The good news is that your bones will heal, although it may require a number of screws.

But dental injuries are different–teeth don’t regrow. If you want to repair your smile, you’ll need dental restorations.

Repairing Tooth Trauma from Motorcycle Accidents

Even relatively low-speed motorcycle accidents can result in tooth trauma. It can be minor damage like one or two chipped teeth. Or it can be more serious, including a dead tooth or even a knocked out tooth.

Chipped or cracked teeth are treated according to their severity. Minor tooth chips can be treated with dental bonding, BioClear, or porcelain veneers. If a tooth has structural damage, we may recommend a dental crown to protect and support the tooth.

Other times, the tooth could have suffered trauma that dislodged it or even killed it. The tooth might initially seem fine, possibly loose and painful, but it looks okay. Then it can darken over time. This indicates that the tooth pulp is dead and should be removed in a root canal procedure. Then a dental crown can give the tooth an attractive appearance.

But if the tooth is too damaged to be restored with a root canal, it might be best to replace it with a dental bridge or dental implant.

If one or more teeth were knocked out, they can sometimes be placed back into your mouth. This may work, or it may turn out that the tooth won’t reintegrate with the jawbone or is dead inside.

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Stay Safe out There!

All motorcycle riders in California are required to wear a helmet. While there’s currently no good evidence that helmets protect your face from injury, it’s possible that wearing one with full coverage can help protect your face and teeth.

But the best way to protect your face is avoid an accident. Always ride to your skill level–which means being aware that you might be rusty after the long off season. Give yourself time to get back into practice. And remember that drivers might also be rusty in dealing with motorcycles on the road. Be even more wary of them than usual!

If you’ve suffered dental trauma related to a motorcycle accident or other circumstance, we can help. Please call (949) 551-5902 today for an appointment with an Orange County reconstructive dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.