Effect of treatment delay upon pulp and periodontal healing of traumatic dental injuries – a review article

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Based on an analysis of the literature concerning parameters influencing the prognosis of traumatic dental injuries, few studies were found to have examined possible relationships between treatment delay and pulpal and periodontal ligament healing complications. It has been commonly accepted that all injuries should be treated on an emergency basis, for the comfort of the patient and also to reduce wound healing complications. For practical and especially economic reasons, various approaches can be selected to fulfill such a demand, such as acute treatment (i.e. within a few hours), subacute (i.e. within the first 24 h), and delayed (i.e. after the first 24 h). In this survey the consequences of treatment delay on pulpal and periodontal healing have been analyzed for the various dental trauma groups. Applying such a treatment approach to the various types of injuries, the following treatment guidelines can be recommended, based on our present rather limited knowledge of the effect of treatment delay upon wound healing. Crown and crown/root fractures: Subacute or delayed approach. Root fractures: Acute or subacute approach. Alveolar fractures: Acute approach (evidence however questionable). Concussion and subluxation: Subacute approach. Extrusion and lateral luxation: Acute or subacute approach (evidence however questionable). Intrusion: Subacute approach (evidence however questionable). Avulsion: If the tooth is not replanted at the time of injury, acute approach; otherwise subacute. Primary tooth injury: Subacute approach, unless the primary tooth is displaced into the follicle of the permanent tooth or occlusal problems are present; in the latter instances, an acute approach should be chosen. These treatment guidelines are based on very limited evidence from the literature and should be revised as soon as more evidence about the effect of treatment delay becomes available.

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