While we’ve all lost teeth as a right of passage during childhood (remember, the Tooth Fairy visited?), losing a tooth as an adult is a traumatic experience, particularly when the tooth is lost as the result of an accident.
At Simply Smiles Dental, we hope you never have a tooth knocked out, but if you do, we want you to have the information you need to save that tooth!
The good news is that, armed with a solid strategy and acting quickly, many knocked out (“avulsed”) teeth can be saved!
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: Keep Your Simply Smiles Dentist in your contact list
Time is the most important thing when dealing with a knocked-out tooth. So, the first and most important thing to do is to call your Simply Smiles dentist as soon as you can. This means you should have our phone number in your phone!
What to do if a tooth is knocked out
To save a tooth that has been knocked out, you should immediately take these steps:
- Retrieve the tooth
Handle the tooth by the crown, not the root. The crown of the tooth is the chewing part – it is the part of the tooth that is visible when the tooth is properly in the jaw. Touching the root of an avulsed tooth can contaminate it or cause additional damage to any tissue still attached to the tooth, tissue that needs to be preserved to ensure the tooth’s restoration.
- Clean the tooth
If the tooth has become contaminated with dirt, rinse it gently with milk or water. Again, be very careful not to disturb any tissue clinging to the root. NEVER clean a dislodged tooth with soap, and don’t scrub or dry it. These actions will remove and destroy the living residual tissue necessary for reimplantation.
- Reposition the tooth (if possible)
Replace the tooth into the gum socket as soon as possible. The more quickly this happens, the greater the chances of saving the tooth. Gum and root tissues naturally want to heal and bond, and this process begins as soon as the tooth is back in the jaw. If returning the tooth to the mouth is not possible, proceed to the next step.
Preserve the tooth if repositioning is not possible
If the tooth cannot be immediately repositioned in the gums, preserving it properly helps the chances of its restoration. Keeping the tooth moist helps keep the necessary cells and tissue alive. The best thing is to preserve the tooth in milk. Tap water is not recommended. If the patient is old enough, the tooth can also be held between against the inside of the mouth.
There are also over-the-counter products to help save avulsed teeth, and if you have an emergency aid kit, it might be a good idea to include one of them.
What your Simply Smiles Dentist will do to save your tooth
Your Simply Smiles dentist will determine if the tooth is in good enough condition to return to full function. If the tooth looks ok, X-rays will be taken to determine if optimum healing will be able to occur. Your dentist will then splint (attach) the tooth to the teeth next to it so it will not shift and will have support for healing to take place.
If the tooth has been out of the mouth for more than 20 minutes, your dentist may soak the tooth in a salt solution for about a half hour and then put it in an antibiotic before re-implanting it, which increases the chance of survival.
Your dentist will decide how long the splint should remain.
If the bone around tooth wasn’t broken, the tooth should reattach in about three to four weeks. If the bone is damaged it may need from six to eight weeks to recover. You will need to visit your dentist for regular check-ups to judge progress. If everything is healing successfully, the dentist will follow up with you for the next two to three years to ensure that everything is doing well.
Emergency Dentist in Toorak
In case of a dental emergency, be sure to contact your emergency dentist in Toorak on (03) 9826 2220.
Simply Smiles Dental accepts most dental insurance and offer flexible payment options for those who don’t have dental insurance. Our skilled dentists are committed to getting you the urgent care you require quickly at a very reasonable rate.
Learn more about our dental emergency services and schedule your appointment by calling Simply Smiles Dental in Toorak today.