At Smiles Nambour we refer to a knocked-out tooth by its technical name – an “avulsed” tooth.
This is one of the most serious dental emergencies for permanent teeth, as avulsed teeth can be permanently lost if not treated quickly.
The good news is that in most cases the damage can be fixed. If you act quickly, there’s a good chance the tooth can be saved.
What You Can Do
When a tooth is knocked out, there is damage to more than just the tooth itself. Nearby nerves, blood vessels, and supporting tissues are also damaged. The nerves and blood vessels can’t be repaired, which is why avulsed teeth almost always require a root canal. However, the bone can reattach to the root of the tooth once it’s put back into place, particularly if re-implantation is performed quickly.
The chance of saving an avulsed tooth is best in young children, but adult teeth can be saved as well. In children, only permanent teeth should be re-implanted.
It is important to get to your Smiles Nambour dentist as quickly as possible after a tooth has been knocked out. It is also important to know how to take care of an avulsed tooth to be sure that no additional damage is done to it.
Follow these suggestions to maximise the chances of saving your tooth:
- Handle the tooth carefully. Try not to touch the root. It can be damaged easily and damaged roots have difficulty reattaching to the jaw.
- If the tooth is dirty, hold it by the upper part (the crown) and carefully rinse it with milk. If milk is not available, rinse the tooth with water. Do NOT wipe the tooth off with a cloth of any kind as this can damage the tooth.
- Try slipping the tooth back into its socket. In some cases, it will slip right in. Make sure it’s facing the right way. This re-insertion may feel a bit uncomfortable. Don’t force the tooth into its socket. If it doesn’t go back into place easily and without pressure, you will need to keep it moist get to the dentist as soon as you can.
- If the tooth will not stay in its socket, be sure to keep the tooth moist. Temporarily hold the tooth in a glass of milk. If no milk is available, hold the tooth in your mouth, gently resting between the cheek and gum.
A young child may not be able to safely hold the tooth in his or her mouth without swallowing it – if the tooth is swallowed it cannot be reattached. So, have the child spit into a cup and place the tooth in the saliva. As a last resort you can hold the tooth in a cup of water. The most important thing is to make sure that the tooth stays moist until a dentist can be visited.
What Your Dentist Will Do
Reinserting an avulsed tooth can be simple. However, it can also be complicated or impossible, particularly if the tooth or bone is broken. Your dentist will use water to flush debris from the socket. Then he or she will reinsert the tooth in the gums and jaw. It is critical to re-implant the tooth as soon as possible, ideally within an hour of the accident.
Your dentist will almost always recommend a root canal be performed as soon as possible, but depending on circumstances may perform the procedure immediately, or may wait.
The treatment depends upon how long the tooth was out of the mouth, the amount of damage, and other factors that only a dentist is qualified to judge. If the tooth goes back in place, your dentist will splint it to the adjacent teeth with a soft wire and/or composite material. This will hold the tooth in place for several days. Your dentist will decide how long the splint should continue to support the tooth.
If the bone around the tooth is not fractured, its root will usually reattach to the bone in about three to four weeks. If there is severe damage the area may require six to eight weeks.
Your Smiles Nambour dentist will examine the tooth again in three to six months. Unless there are signs of infection, the next visit will occur at your yearly checkup. Your dentist will follow up for the next two to three years to ensure that the tooth remains re-implanted.
Emergency Dentist in Nambour
If you need a dental checkup or treatment, it’s critical to find a dentist who offers what you need and can assuage your anxiety. And if a tooth is avulsed, it is even more important to find a dentist quickly. At Smiles Nambour we offer same-day emergency appointments for cases of dental emergency, including avulsed teeth.
At Smiles Nambour, we provide top-quality dentistry with the help of cutting-edge instruments and caring staff!
Same Day Appointment Available, Request it Now!