If you are like many individuals, one of your worst fears is probably having a permanent tooth knocked out. While you may never expect it to happen to you, the reality is that many kids and adults lose a tooth from an accident or injury every year.
If you suddenly find yourself in this unexpected scenario, San Antonio emergency dentistry should be your first point of contact. Meanwhile, here are some measures you should take to protect your knocked-out tooth. Continue reading to learn more.
1. Find the Tooth
Ideally, you should be able to find the tooth. Request anybody nearby to help you locate it, as this is an emergency, and you require all hands on deck. When they locate it, advise them to inform you and caution them about picking it up.
You do not want anybody touching the delicate root of your tooth. Rather, when somebody finds it, carefully pick it by its crown, which is the chewing surface, and ensure you avoid compressing the root.
2. If Dirty, Clean Any Debris
Before taking other measures, carefully wash away any debris or dirt from the knocked-out tooth. Do not use any form of chemical cleaner, only use water or milk to wash the tooth. Note, when a tooth gets knocked out of position, some of its connective tissue might rip away with it.
If this delicate tissue is damaged, it becomes hard for your dentist to restore the tooth successfully. Therefore, never scrub, rub, or scrape your tooth, even if some materials tend to stick. If your knocked-out tooth has no dirt, you do not have to wash away the blood.
3. Try Repositioning the Tooth Back In Its Socket
Another measure to salvage your knocked-out tooth is carefully repositioning it in its socket as soon as feasible. This procedure protects the root and preserves moisture, which is crucial for reattachment.
Holding the tooth by its crown, carefully set it over the socket. Once the tooth is in position, slowly shut your mouth and close the jaw to nudge your tooth back in position. Never force the knocked-out tooth into its socket. If you cannot reposition it, proceed to the next step.
4. Keep You Knocked-Out Tooth Moist
If you cannot reposition the tooth back in its socket, find another way to keep it moist immediately. If you cover your tooth with a cloth, tissue, or paper towel, you risk drying it out and damaging the connective tissue, rendering reattachment impracticable.
Avoid using normal tap water to keep the tooth moist. The chemicals and minerals naturally present in tap water can destroy the surface cells of the tooth’s roots. Rather, completely submerge the tooth in a milk container, saliva, or saline solution.
Get to Your Dentist
A knocked-out permanent tooth is one of the most serious dental emergencies. The sooner you see the dentist, preferably in under an hour, the higher the possibility that your dentist can successfully reattach it.
Sadly, dental emergencies often happen unexpectedly and not near the dentist’s office. If you cannot make it to the dentist in an hour, do not panic. Follow the steps above, as it is occasionally possible to restore a tooth knocked out for over an hour if it is well cared for.
Suffering a knocked-out tooth is never ideal, but it must not be final. If you understand how to handle such dental trauma, you can play a huge role in saving the tooth.
Once you get to your emergency dentist, they will do everything possible to preserve your tooth. However, it is not always possible to salvage the knocked-out tooth. In such cases, your dentist can discuss replacement options, such as a dental implant.