Knocking out a tooth is every athlete’s nightmare. And although playing sports is one of the most likely causes of having a tooth dislodged, anyone can have a tooth knocked out at any time due to an unforeseen injury. In the possible event that this issue does occur, it’s best to know what to do.
At Grace Dental Group, we offer many treatments, including emergency dentistry for just this type of issue. Our provider, Woo Young Lee, DDS, wants to ensure that you will be as likely as possible to replace the tooth, which is why we offer this step-by-step process for best results.
1. Move quickly
The initial shock of having an avulsed tooth is often intense, but moving as quickly as possible to get help is also key. According to the Cleveland Health Clinic, the chances of survival for your tooth and successful replantation are high if you can properly store it and get to a dentist between five minutes and one hour after the incident. Any more than this, and the chances of survival for the tooth greatly diminish. So move fast, and delegate to those around you.
2. Have someone else locate the tooth
One of the best things you can do right now is to ask someone you trust to search for and locate the missing tooth. Once they find it, remind them to handle it only by the crown — never touching the root — and rinse it with warm water.
3. Place the tooth back in your mouth
Once the tooth is clean, you’ll want to place it back in the empty socket. Do this carefully! To keep the tooth in place, put something clean and soft in your mouth and bite down. Good options are gauze, a wet tea bag, or a clean handkerchief.
If you can’t get your tooth back into the socket, try keeping it in your cheek so that it’s close to its natural place inside your mouth. If that isn’t an option, keep it in a container with saliva or milk.
4. Get to your dentist ASAP
Many dental practices offer emergency dentistry. We certainly do! Call 415-506-5241 or your local dentist to get treatment immediately. Remember, the sooner you’re able to get to a dentist, the better your chances are of saving the tooth.
If this is not an option, you may need a dental implant or a bridge to replace the missing tooth. According to a study from 2014, having missing teeth can create other problems, including low self-esteem, altered speaking patterns, and difficulty chewing.
5. Don’t panic
Here are some important don’ts to follow if your tooth gets knocked out.
- Don’t let your tooth dry out.
- Don’t touch the root of the tooth.
- Don’t scrub the tooth when cleaning it.
- Don’t take pain medication with aspirin as it could cause you to bleed more.