Time Matters When A Tooth Is Knocked Out

How To Handle A Knocked Out Tooth

Do you know how to handle an emergency situation when someone has knocked a tooth out in an accident?  Many people unexpectantly lose teeth every year due to accidents in the United States says emergency dentist in Marietta, GA.  “It’s best to be prepared and know how best to handle the situation,” says Kirk Kimmerling DDS.  A traumatic avulsion injury,  or knocked out tooth often has a better outcome when people are aware of some basic procedures to follow.

The best possible scenario is for the tooth to be immediately re-implanted in the mouth after the accident occurs.  This gives the tooth the best chance of long-term survival.

After the accident, it is important to stay calm and locate the tooth immediately.  Pick it up by the top portion of the tooth, the crown and try not to touch the roots.  If the tooth is contaminated with dirt or debris, rinse it in milk, saline solution or water. Water is the least desirable, as it damages the root cells.  If milk is not available, then the water may be your only option.   If it is not possible to re-implant immediately, place the tooth in the victim’s cheek, or a cup of milk after it is cleansed.  Never place the tooth in the mouth of an unconscious person.  Do not hand carry the tooth, as the cells on the root surface will dry and drastically reduce the long term success. If the tooth is a primary or baby tooth, never re-implant, as it may cause damage to the developing permanent tooth.

If possible, try to re-implant the tooth yourself.  The most important factor for long term success of re-implantation is the speed at which the tooth is re-implanted.  Only proceed if the person is fully conscious. Never re-implant if the person has nausea, a head injury, headache or any other serious injury as this may lead to an even more tragic situation; aspiration.  It is more important that the person be evaluated by medical personnel.

When placing the clean tooth back into the socket, make sure the tooth is rotated in the proper position.  The tooth will slip into the socket more readily, if properly aligned.  Since most injuries involve front teeth, it is possible to estimate the proper alignment.  After placement, hold the tooth in place, and immediately seek treatment of an emergency dentist.  If the tooth can not be re-implanted, a glass of milk or the accident victim’s cheek is the best place to store the tooth.  Avoid placing it in water.  The cheek is preferred over milk.

As you arrive at the dentist, he will evaluate the situation and if possible re-implant the tooth.  He may splint it to adjoining teeth for better support during the healing phase. Some emergencies can be avoided by wearing a protective mouth guard during sports.

Keep in mind the following;

1.  Find the tooth and handle it by the crown

2  Clean the tooth with milk, or if necessary water

3. Reimplant the tooth if possible

4. Store the tooth in the cheek of the victim or in milk

5.  Get to a dentist quickly

Understanding the critical importance of time and how to handle a knocked out tooth is critical.  It should be immediately re-implanted, if possible says Marietta Dentist.

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