Your teeth may be the hardest substance in the human body, but that doesn’t make them invincible. If you fall, or suffer an impact to the jaw, it can knock out a tooth, requiring immediate treatment.
Following Falls Prevention Week, a national awareness campaign that occurs each September, we look at what you can do if you accidentally knock out a tooth.
What to do if you knock out a tooth
Having a tooth knocked out can be a traumatic experience. However, there is a chance the tooth can be saved if you know how to handle it.
If you find the tooth, pick it up by the crown and not the root. If it is dirty, run it under the cold tap for a maximum of 10 seconds. Do not attempt to place it back in the hole if it is a milk tooth. Otherwise, put it in as soon as possible and seek urgent dental help immediately. If it won’t go in easily, place it in milk, or saliva until you can get to the dentist.
If your child has had a tooth knocked out, don’t try to place it back in. Keep the tooth clean, don’t touch the root and store it in milk until you can get to a dentist.
How is a knocked-out tooth treated?
If you have the tooth, your dentist will be able to help you secure it back in place. Splinting is typically used to keep the tooth attached to the teeth at either side. The splint will be left on for a couple of weeks before being removed.
If you couldn’t find the tooth or it is unable to be saved, a dental implant can be used to replace it. They provide a long-lasting solution, helping to hide unsightly gaps, and give you the confidence to smile.
Dental implants are created from titanium, and they are implanted into the jaw. A temporary restoration will be provided for a period of two to four months until the tooth has healed. Over that time, the bone will begin to grow around the implant, keeping it firmly in place.
Preventing a knocked-out tooth
Although it isn’t always possible to prevent an injury, there are some ways to prevent a tooth being knocked out. Mouthguards are especially effective for athletes participating in contact sports.
The Bristol Flyers Basketball team, sponsored by CK Dental, have custom-made mouthguards to protect the teeth during play. Mouthguards are affordable, effective, and can prevent an emergency trip to the dentist. Custom-made to fit each patient’s mouth, they can also be worn overnight to prevent teeth grinding.
If you have knocked out your tooth, getting to the dentist quickly is the key to saving it. To learn more about mouthguards or dental implants, book a consultation with our friendly dental team now.