When a baby tooth naturally falls out, it’s usually an exciting time for kids. But if an adult tooth is knocked out, it’s not quite as fun. Losing an adult tooth is not just a cosmetic emergency, but a functional one as well. Every tooth plays an important role in biting and chewing, and empty space can quickly lead to problems.
This means if you or a loved one has had an adult tooth knocked out, it’s important to act quickly. The faster you get emergency dental work, the better the chance of saving the tooth. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do if you knock out your tooth.
Steps To Saving Your Tooth
1. Find the tooth
The first step is to find the tooth. To have any chance of saving it, ensure you handle the tooth with care. Try to pick it up by the crown (the part that’s normally visible in the mouth) rather than the root.
2. Rinse the tooth
Once you have the tooth, rinse it gently with water. Do not brush or scrub the tooth, as this can damage it. You can also rinse your mouth with water to clean it out.
3. Try to put the tooth back in
If you’re able to, try inserting the tooth back into its socket. Just make sure you line up the tooth in the right way. From there, gently bite down on a piece of gauze or a clean cloth to hold the tooth in place.
4. Keep the tooth in milk
If you can’t put the tooth back in, put it in a cup of milk. This will help to keep the tooth alive and moist so that it can be restored to where it belongs later.
5. See a dentist right away
Even if you’re able to put the tooth back in its socket, it’s important to see a dentist right away. Not all teeth can be saved, but emergency dental work has a better chance of getting it done.
What Happens at The Dentist?
When you arrive at the dentist, they’ll first assess the situation and determine if the tooth can be saved. If the tooth is too damaged, it may not be possible to put it back in. In most cases, the dentist will check that you have positioned the tooth correctly and then keep the tooth in place by fixing it to the teeth on either side of it. This process is called splinting. Once the tooth is in place, you’ll need to see the dentist again in a week or two to have the splint removed.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
While emergency dental work can save a knocked-out tooth, it’s always better to prevent the problem in the first place. If you play sports, for example, wearing a mouthguard is the best way to protect your teeth. You can purchase a mouthguard at most sporting goods stores or pharmacies, or your dentist can custom-make one for you.
If you have any questions or concerns about emergency dental work, be sure to give us a call at Simcoe Family Dentistry. A friendly member of our team will be happy to provide the assistance you need.