Emergency Dentistry

Knocked out tooth

Emergency Dentistry Emergency Dentistry Emergency Dental

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What to Do If Your Tooth Is Knocked Out

A knocked out or broken tooth is what dentists refer to as ‘avulsed’ tooth. This is a serious condition because if you do not act quick then there are chances that you may lose that tooth for good.

When a tooth gets knocked out, what happens is that the surrounding tissues, blood vessels and the nerves get damaged as well. Once this happens there is no way to restore the nerves or the blood vessels but if you manage to save the knocked out tooth, then there is a possibility that your dentist can fix the tooth back in place and hope for the surrounding tissues to reattach in order to firmly keep the tooth in its place.

There are several ways that your tooth can get knocked out :
  1. a fall
  2. direct trauma to the face from sporting activities, accident or from a fight
  3. biting on something really hard

How Do You Know If You Have a Knocked Out Tooth

You may think that it is obvious that you would know if you have a knocked out tooth when the tooth comes out or falls out. Even though this is true, there are cases when the tooth may not have completely fallen off and instead has loosened or has been pushed into the lines of the gum. When this happens then you should look out for the following symptoms :
  1. bleeding from an unknown source in the mouth
  2. swelling of the face
  3. cuts on the cheeks and lips
  4. the tooth may change its colour

What You Should Do Until You Get Dental Help

Every minute is crucial for you to save the tooth therefore it is vital that you get immediate attention. However there are certain steps that you can take until you get medical attention :
  1. Make sure you handle the tooth from the crown and not the root
  2. Try to place the tooth back in its place or socket. The probability of the tooth surviving is higher this way.
  3. If you are not able to place the tooth back then keep it moist in either milk, your own saliva or water
  4. Never try to scrub the tooth if it is dirty. Rinse it under running water if you must.

What Would Your Dentist Do

The treatment recommended by your dentist will depend on the state of the knocked out tooth.
  1. If the tooth is still healthy then your dentist will place the tooth back in its socket. The implanted tooth has to be stabilized and this is done by using metal arch bars, orthodontic wire or plastic bonds. If the tooth is replanted within 1 hour, then the chances of the tooth surviving the reattachment is higher.
  2. However if the tooth does not reattach properly, then there are chances that it may fuse with the jawbone. This will eventually lead to root damage. If this happens then your dentist will perform a root canal.
  3. When the tooth gets knocked out, the blood vessels and nerves also get damaged beyond repair. When this happens, the tooth will begin to darken. This will once again lead to a root canal treatment failing which an abscess can develop and cause more harm.

The treatments mentioned above are only meant for knocked out tooth in adults. Children whose milk tooth has been knocked out should not be reattached as this would deter or harm the adult tooth that will grow later on.