Over five million children and adults have a tooth knocked out every year. Teeth can get knocked out during sports or other types of physical activity. This kind of a dental injury can range from minor cracks to the complete loss of a tooth. You need to follow proper tooth-saving steps to preserve your tooth so it can be re-implanted successfully by our dentist.
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If a tooth is chipped, you need to find all the broken piece, place them in a small container with milk, and take them to our dentist for repair. If your entire tooth has been knocked out, locate the tooth immediately, and bring it to our office to be re-implanted. If we are closed, go to the emergency room and follow up with our office later.
If a child has lost a tooth, you need to check and see if it’s a baby tooth (will not be re-implanted) or an adult tooth. Do not touch the tooth root, which contains ligaments needed for healing. Pick the tooth up by the chewing surface area.
If the tooth appears to be dirty, rinse it briefly in cold water, but don’t scrub it. Do not use soap or chemicals. Don’t dry the tooth, and don’t wrap it in a tissue or cloth. Try to put the tooth back in the socket. This is always the first choice. If the tooth is placed in the socket within five minutes of being knocked out, it is likely the tooth will survive. How do you do this?
Gently try to push the tooth back in the socket in with your fingers. Hold the tooth in place with your fingers or by gently biting down on it. If you’re not able to get the tooth back in the socket, put it in your mouth next to your cheek, or place it in a small container with milk. It’s very important to keep the root moist.
Do not store the tooth in water. There is a good survival rate between 5 and 60 minutes if the tooth has been stored properly. It is possible to save a tooth even if it has been outside the mouth for more than an hour, but the survival rate quickly decreases after 60 minutes.
When you get to our dentist office, the tooth will be re-implanted and splinted with the adjacent teeth. You may need a root canal for long-term survival of the tooth.
Of course, the best way to keep your tooth is to take precautions so that it is not knocked out. According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer dental injuries while not wearing a mouthguard, which protects the teeth.
If you have a dental emergency, please call our office for same-day treatment at 858-401-7761. Our dentist is experienced in dealing with emergency situations, including tooth loss. Again, if your accident happens while our office is closed, please go to the nearest emergency room. Time is very important if you want to save your tooth. Do not hesitate to seek medical care.