At Smart Smiles Dental we will always try our hardest to restore knocked out (avulsed) teeth, but to do so we need your help – and the most important thing you can give us is TIME.
When a permanent tooth is knocked out, the less time it is out of the mouth the better. The best results are obtained when the tooth is replaced within 30 minutes and after an hour things begin to get dicey!
What To Do, What To Do?
Of course, one of the first things you should do if your tooth gets knocked out is make an emergency dentist’s appointment with Smart Smiles Dental, so be sure to have our number on your contacts list! If you get to us in time there is a good chance that we will be able to put the tooth back in place, but only if you follow a few key steps directly after the accident.
Your first goal with an avulsed tooth is to keep it alive, which means making sure the tooth root remains moist and undamaged. The tooth root provides blood flow and nutrients to the tooth. If these tissues dry out they can die, which makes it much harder for the dentist to put the tooth back in its socket.
First, you should try to fit the tooth back in its socket, yourself. This may be a bit uncomfortable, but if it is successful, it gives you the best chance of saving your tooth. If you manage to get the tooth back in place, bite down on gauze or a wet tea bag to keep in there until you get to your emergency appointment.
If you can’t get the tooth back in its socket, you’ll need to use other means to keep it safe.
If the knocked out tooth has dirt or debris on it, rinse it off using milk or bottled water. Always hold the tooth by the crown (opposite end from the root) and don’t touch the root, as this may damage it. Do not brush the tooth, sterilize it, or clean it with anything other than water.
Next, to keep the tooth moist you need to put it either cow’s milk, or if milk isn’t available, put it in saliva. You can keep the tooth in your mouth, either under your tongue or between your gums and your cheek. But be careful not to swallow it! Don’t put the tooth in water to keep it moist.
Water is not as gentle as milk or saliva and can damage the cells in the tooth root. Once you get to your emergency dentist appointment, your dentist will sterilize the tooth in a way that doesn’t risk harming it.
If a child has a tooth knocked out, you need to proceed a bit differently. If the tooth is a primary tooth (meaning the first, temporary set of teeth we have as young children), don’t do anything. Re-inserting the tooth can be dangerous to the permanent teeth still resting in the jaw.
If a permanent tooth is knocked out of a child’s mouth, it is not safe to have them hold the teeth in their mouth. Children accidentally swallow things, and if this happens to the tooth it cannot be reimplanted.
Your dentist will assess the damage to your tooth and jaw and determine the best way to treat it. In the best case, this means cleaning the area and the tooth and replacing it in its socket. Sometimes the dentist will apply a splint to keep the tooth in position as it heals back into place. This splint resembles braces and can be in place for up to 1-2 weeks.
Finally, it is always good to be prepared for a knocked out tooth, or dental emergencies in general. So, Smart Smiles Dental recommends you put together a dental emergency kit that includes Save-A-Tooth, or a similar product designed to keep knocked out teeth healthy.
Other supplies to keep in your dental emergency kit include:
- Sterile gauze, which can be used to stop bleeding
- Tweezers, which can make it easier to handle knocked-out teeth or fragments of broken teeth
- Non-aspirin pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, which will reduce your pain level
- Dental cement, which can be used to reattach crowns or fillings that come off
Your Reliable Emergency Dentist in Deer Park
Smart Smile Dental is open from Mondays to Fridays. We provide free onsite parking facilities. Our team is dedicated to providing you and your family with prompt emergency dentistry.