An accidental blow to the face could generate impact trauma that may cause one or more teeth to fall out of the mouth. Even if you practice diligent preventative dental care, an injury like this could irreversibly alter your oral health.
But if you do knock out a tooth in this way, your dentist might be able to save it and return it safely to your mouth. Prompt action from your dentist will be necessary to accomplish this, however.
Knowing what to do ahead of this dental injury will save you time and ensure you can act confidently and urgently in the event of this dental emergency. Read on to find actions you should take if you lose a tooth in order to have the best chance to place it back in your mouth.
Preserve the Knocked-Out Tooth
If you lose a tooth, collect it as quickly as you can. Handle the tooth from its crown rather than its sensitive root. This way, you can avoid hurting the delicate nerves in this part of the tooth.
You can gently rinse the tooth with milk if the tooth is dirty from touching the ground. If milk is not readily available, you may use water. Do not try to rub the tooth with a cloth or other fabric because this could damage to tooth easily.
Preserve the tooth by keeping it moist. The most effective way to do this is to carefully place the tooth back in its socket in your mouth.
Do not force it into place, but saliva will ensure the tooth stays healthy. Tucking the tooth gently into the cheek will have a similar preservative effect. You must take care not to swallow the tooth though.
You can also store the tooth in a cup, submerged in your spit. Alternatively, you may place it in a glass of milk or water.
Attend Emergency Dentist Appointment
Quick action is key to saving a knocked-out tooth. So call your dentist right away or go straight to your dentist’s office to attend an emergency appointment. Ideally, this should occur within half an hour of losing the tooth. Delaying treatment for your lost tooth could reduce the likelihood of success in restoring it back in the mouth.
When you attend this urgent dental visit, the dentist will flush the socket and then put the tooth there with a splint to keep it in place. The tooth should reattach fully within the mouth within three or four weeks. If the tooth suffered a fracture, it may need additional time to heal.
Attend follow-up appointments with your dentist to ensure the tooth heals as well as it can. Sometimes, a dentist cannot successfully place the tooth back in the mouth. If this occurs, they will discuss tooth replacement treatments that can work for your oral health needs. Ask your dentist about implant dentistry and your eligibility for this permanent restorative dental solution.