Accidents can happen without warning. Accidents to the mouth can knock (or “avulse”) your teeth right out of the jaw that holds them!
At West Ryde Dental Clinic we’ve seen a variety of facial and dental injuries that cause teeth to be lost! When accidents do happen they are far and away the main cause of teeth being knocked out in both children and adults.
A knocked out tooth calls for quick action and an immediate and informed response increases the chance a tooth can be reinserted and will survive avulsion.
When a tooth is avulsed it loses its blood supply and contact with nerves, but it can still be reinserted given proper care and a hasty trip to your West Ryde Dental Clinic dentist.
Why is an avulsed tooth such a big problem?
The accidental loss of a tooth is a serious dental emergency for a permanent tooth, and can easily lead to its permanent loss.
Getting you and your tooth to the dentist is the most important thing you can do to save a knocked out tooth.
The number one rule
Make sure you have contact information for West Ryde Dental Clinic on hand! Call us immediately for fast and efficient action. We can give you advice over the phone on how to best manage the pain until you arrive at the clinic, and when you get here we’ll work hard to save your tooth.
What you can do
Try to replant the tooth. Here are the steps:
- Pick up the tooth by the crown
- Do not touch the root of the tooth.
- Do not scrape or scrub the tooth.
- If there is obvious debris on the root, gently rinse it quickly (10 seconds) with saline (salt water) or milk or if neither of the above is available, with cold water.
- Do not use alcohol for cleaning.
- Firmly reposition the tooth into the socket. Use adjacent teeth as a guide to work out proper positioning. Try to get it as close to the level of the other teeth as possible.
- Bite down on damp gauze or a damp clean flannel or handkerchief to keep the tooth in place. A wet tea bag also works.
You should not replant a knocked-out baby tooth. You should still take your child to the dentist for a check-up to ensure nerves and blood vessels are not badly damaged.
Re-inserting a permanent tooth back into its gum socket gives the tooth a higher chance of survival. According to studies, teeth re-planted within 15 minutes have a 98% chance of being retained.
Benefits of re-planting a permanent knocked out tooth:
- Far less expensive (compared to replacing a missing tooth).
- More aesthetically pleasing
- Less painful
When a tooth is knocked completely out of the jaw:
- Retrieve it by holding it by the crown (top white part)
- You can rinse the tooth briefly and gently
- Use a bowl of lukewarm water
- Do not scrape clean the tooth with a cloth
- Do not use running water
A permanent tooth can generally be re-implanted as long as there is no damage to the root. If you are transporting a knocked out tooth keep it moist by putting it into:
- Skim milk
- Lukewarm water
- Contact lens solution
- In contact with saliva in the mouth (when no risk of airway compromise and NOT in the case of young children)
What Your Dentist Will Do
Your dentist will 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 but depending on circumstances may perform the procedure immediately, or at a later date. If the tooth can be reinserted, your dentist will splint it to adjacent teeth to temporarily hold it in place. 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 West Ryde 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.
The West Ryde Dental Clinic Advantage
At West Ryde Dental Clinic, our service and our treatments are 100% personalized for you. All our dentists are highly motivated and accredited practitioners with graduate degrees from the University of Sydney. As well as the dentists, the supporting staff at West Ryde Dental Clinic are highly dedicated and experienced to ensure each visit with us is comfortable as possible.