Accidents or injuries to the face or head can result in chipped, broken, or missing teeth. While most common in children and sporting individuals, getting a tooth knocked out can happen to anyone.
A missing tooth is a common injury that can affect an individual’s appearance and self-esteem. Quick action and emergency treatment are vital when dealing with a knocked-out tooth.
A Medical Emergency
A knocked-out tooth is a medical emergency that requires urgent care. Make sure you find the tooth. After wiping off or rinsing any dirt, try to put it back and get to the dentist as soon as possible. If the entire tooth is knocked out, acting quickly increases the chances of saving it.
Baby teeth are not reinserted, but you should take your child to the dentist if a tooth is knocked out. If you do not have a regular dentist, visit an emergency room or find the nearest urgent dental care. You can call the emergency number to get the information you need.
Handling the Tooth
Be careful when handling a knocked-out tooth. Avoid touching the root containing the fibers that are essential for healing. Pick the tooth by the chewing surface to protect the periodontal ligaments. Rinse the tooth briefly using tap water but do not scrub it.
Return the tooth to the socket if possible and get to the dentist or the nearest emergency room immediately. If putting the tooth in the socket is difficult, place it in the mouth next to your cheek. You can also place it in a container with milk. It will help keep the root moist.
Time is Essential for Survival
Acting promptly is vital for saving the tooth. The tooth is more likely to survive if it is replaced in the socket about five minutes after it is knocked out. There is a good survival rate if the tooth is stored correctly for not more than one hour.
The survival rate declines significantly after one hour. When you get to the emergency room or dentist’s office, the tooth will be re-implanted. The dentist will splint the tooth to the adjacent teeth for several weeks. It will allow the root canal to survive.
At the Dental Clinic
If you succeeded in putting the tooth back, the dentist will check to confirm that it is in the correct position. The dentist will take dental X-rays to ensure correct positioning. If you placed the tooth in a container, the dentist would numb the area before reinserting the tooth.
Next, the tooth is splinted to the teeth on either side to hold it in position for two weeks. Splinting attaches the tooth temporarily to keep it in place.
Protecting Your Teeth
While it is possible to save a knocked-out tooth, the best thing you can do is to protect your teeth. The best way to prevent mouth injuries is by wearing protection. Wearing a quality mouthguard when playing sports can help protect your teeth.
Through prompt response, knocked-out teeth can be saved, but those lost to disease cannot. Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits will help ensure your teeth remain healthy.
For more on what to do if you knocked your tooth out, visit Boss Dental Care at our Corpus Christi, Texas office. Call 361-245-5400 to schedule an appointment.