Knocked out teeth can in some cases be re-implanted right back. Only permanent teeth are usually re-implanted since doing this for baby teeth can damage the upcoming permanent teeth. Baby teeth, however, that get knocked out should also be attended to by a dentist. Teeth can get accidentally knocked out through several means such as:
- Accidental falls
- Car accidents
- Sports-related trauma
- Biting down on something very hard
What to Do
Try and save the tooth and take it to a dentist as soon as you can. The longer you wait before seeing a dentist, the higher the chances of the re-implant failing increases. The chances of the tooth being re-implanted are good if you manage to replace the tooth back in its socket within 5-15 minutes after it falls off. Once more than one hour elapses before you do this, the chances of a successful implant are rather slim.
Take care how you hold the tooth; only handle the crown (edge) to avoid interfering with the living tissue on the root end. Observe the following measures when handling the broken tooth:
1. Try and place the tooth back in its former position. Keep it level with the other teeth. You can bite down gently with the tooth in place on a wet tea bag or gauze. Take care not to swallow the broken tooth accidentally.
2. If you find that replacing the tooth in its former position is rather difficult, then place the tooth inside a small container and cover it with whole milk or saliva.
3. You can also try carrying the tooth between your lower lip and the lower gums or even under your tongue.
4. There is a device known as the Save-a-Tooth EMT Tooth Saver that you can use to carry your broken tooth. You can find this device at your dentist’s office. The kit comes equipped with a fluid solution and travel case. Have the device ready in your First Aid Kit.
Also make sure you do the following things:
- Apply cold compress to your mouth and the gums to alleviate the pain.
- Apply direct pressure on the bleeding spot to check the bleeding.
- See a dentist immediately.
In the case of badly broken teeth with the tooth’s nerve endings exposed, make an emergency appointment with your dentist since there are high chances of an infection developing. Below are some things to avoid:
- Avoid scraping the roots of the tooth in a bid to remove dirt.
- Avoid brushing or cleaning the tooth using peroxide or alcohol.
- Avoid handling the tooth by the root ends. Only the crown should be touched.
If you have been involved in a major traumatic event such as a car accident or a fall, and find that you cannot shut your mouth, there is a possibility that your lower jaw might be broken. This is a serious case and requires immediate medical attention in a hospital.
There are several things you can do to prevent losing your teeth or your teeth suffering breakages. These are:
- Wear a well-fitting mouth guard whenever you are playing contact sports.
- Avoid very hard foods such as bones or even tough bagels.
- Always wear a seat belt whenever you are riding a car.
If the dentist decides that the tooth cannot be saved and needs to be removed, don’t panic. The process of tooth extraction is a quick procedure and is done under local anesthetic to minimize pain. The dentist might decide to do a surgical extraction depending on the condition of the tooth. Once the tooth is removed, avoid eating hard foods, smoking or vigorous rubbing with the tongue since all these can interfere with the healing process.
Dr. James J McCall is a general and cosmetic dentist in the Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra, Florida area. Dr. McCall has extensive expertise in treating cavities, teeth cleaning and cosmetic dentistry. Call today to arrange a complimentary appointment with Dr. McCall.