Losing a tooth can be a shocking experience, but trying to stay calm and knowing what to do can prevent the situation from getting worse.
If you can see an emergency dentist right away, they may even be able to reattach the tooth, or at least treat your mouth to prevent complications.
If the tooth is intact
If your tooth comes out in one piece and the roots are still intact, there's a chance it could be reattached by your dentist if you take the following steps, though reimplantation isn't always possible.
- Pick up the tooth by the smooth crown, not the pointy roots.
- If the tooth is covered in dirt, wipe this off with milk or saliva, or rinse in water for up to 10 seconds.
- Try to gently slide the tooth back into place in your gum and keep it in place by biting down on a cloth or other soft material.
- If you find it difficult to put the tooth back in, don't force it. Instead, place it in a container or wrap with some milk or saliva to keep it moistened.
- Call your dentist to make an emergency appointment. If you can see a dentist in less than an hour, they may be able to reimplant the tooth. This involves holding the tooth in place with temporary splints while the roots re-bond with the jawbone.
If the tooth is damaged
If the tooth is broken into pieces, it's unlikely that it can be reattached, but you should still collect the pieces and bring them to the dentist in a container with some milk or saliva to keep them moist.
While your dentist may not be able to save the tooth, they will still check your mouth for other signs of injury, provide treatments to prevent infection, and discuss options to replace the tooth and maintain your smile. These may include:
Knocked-out baby teeth
If a child knocks out a primary (baby) tooth, this should not be placed back into the gum. Doing so can risk damaging the permanent tooth underneath or cause other developmental problems for their teeth or jaw.
It's still important to see an emergency dentist who can check the extent of the damage. They may also discuss treatments such as space maintainers to keep the gap open ready for the permanent tooth and prevent the neighbouring teeth from shifting and going crooked.
Preventing dental injuries
While accidents can happen to anyone, there are steps you can take to lower the risk of you or your children being involved in a dental emergency such as losing or damaging a tooth. These include:
- Wearing a custom mouthguard provided by your dentist when playing contact sports
- Not biting or chewing hard objects such as ice, fingernails, pens or opening packaging with your teeth
- ·Practising good oral hygiene to keep your teeth strong and healthy
- Visiting the dentist twice a year for your regular check-up and hygiene treatments
Need an emergency dentist in Everton Park or Mitchelton?
If you've lost a tooth or have another dental emergency, contact our experienced dentists at Swish Dental. We can give you first aid advice over the phone or arrange a same day appointment at our local clinics in Everton Park and Mitchelton if you need to see a dentist right away.