Your teeth are durable and withstand pressure as you chew and bite throughout your day without issue. But accidents can happen to the best of us, and a blow to the face might generate enough impact trauma to make a tooth fall out of its socket.
If this occurs, you have a minute window in which a dentist can help you save the tooth and put it back in your smile. So you should know what actions are necessary ahead of this incident.
Understanding what to do if this dental emergency occurs will enable you to react with more efficiency and swiftness if it happens. Read on to find steps that you should take if you lose a tooth in order to maximize your chances of restoring it back in your mouth.
Preserve the Knocked-Out Tooth
If you knock out a tooth, then the tooth loses its connection to the blood vessels in the gums. Without this supply, the tooth begins to lose vitality quickly, lessening the chance that a dentist can save it and successfully put it back in its socket.
So you must make quick efforts to preserve this dislodged tooth. When handling the tooth, pick it up by its crown rather than its sensitive root. Otherwise, you have a high likelihood of causing more damage to the tooth.
If you can, place the tooth gently back into the socket. The saliva will help to keep it moist and healthy. Do not force it into the socket, however. You can tuck it into your cheek for a similar effect.
If you worry about swallowing the tooth by keeping it in your mouth, you can also put it into a cup submerged in spit. Use milk if you cannot use saliva. Milk makes a better alternative than water because it contains nutrients that will better help the tooth survive.
If you need to clean the tooth, do not rub at it with a cloth or other material. Rinse it carefully using milk, although you may use water if there is no alternative available.
Seek Urgent Treatment from Your Dentist
Time is of the essence when it comes to saving a knocked-out tooth. For an optimal chance to restore the tooth, you should visit your dentist within one hour of losing the tooth. So do not delay calling your dentist about this problem.
Bring your tooth with you to this urgent dental appointment. The dentist will examine the tooth as well as the rest of your smile for additional signs of damage. Then the dentist will carefully place the tooth back in the socket.
They keep the tooth in place with a splint, and it should reattach itself within a few weeks. However, if the tooth sustained a fracture, it may take longer to heal fully.
In some cases, a dentist cannot restore the tooth to your smile. If this happens, the dentist can discuss tooth replacement treatment options with you.