December 16, 2019
It’s a bitterly cold, snowy day in Brandon, but you and your partner decide to make the most of it by having a snowball fight. As the two of you relive your childhood and have loads of fun, something happens; one of your teeth is knocked out after you’re pelted in the face. Suddenly, you have a dental emergency on your hands, and you need to act quickly. By doing so, you won’t have to settle for a gap in your smile, and you can have your oral health fully restored? Read on to learn what to do about your missing tooth.
What to Do for Any Dental Emergency
No matter what type of dental emergency you have, there are two things to always keep in mind:
- Resist the urge to panic, and take a moment to assess the situation.
- Contact your emergency dentist immediately.
While these may seem like obvious steps to take, they can easily be forgotten when you’re dealing with dental trauma. Your ability to remain mindful will help tremendously in your recovery process.
Responding to a Knocked-Out Tooth
When a tooth is dislodged, you have a short window of time to successfully have it reinserted. Therefore, you should reach out to your emergency dentist within the first 30 minutes of the accident.
Meanwhile, this is what you can do to facilitate your recovery:
- Pick up the tooth by the crown (the wider chewing surface).
- Gently rinse the tooth under water to cautiously remove any debris, being careful not to remove any tissue that is attached.
- If possible, reposition the tooth in the socket, gently pushing it with your fingers.
- If you’re not able to reinsert the tooth, be sure to keep it moist by soaking it in a cup of milk or water.
While the optimum time frame to save a tooth is within 30 minutes of it dislodging, there is still a possibility of your emergency dentist being able to successfully reinsert it outside of that window, as long as you follow the above steps.
Reattaching the Tooth
In some cases, reattaching the tooth can be simple. However, if the tooth or bone is broken, the process can be more involved. Your dentist will start by flushing debris from the socket and then slip the tooth back into place. He or she will splint the dislodged tooth to the surrounding teeth with a soft wire and/or composite material, which will hold it in place until it reattaches to the underlying bone.
Ultimately, the intricacies of the reinsertion process will depend on your specific needs. The more expeditious you are in taking action about replacing any missing teeth, the better your chances are of fully recovering.
About the Author
Dr. Scott Wehrkamp earned his Doctor of Dental Science degree from the Loyola University Chicago School of Dentistry. He has since gone on to provide his patients with the absolute best in dental care for nearly 40 years. Dr. Wehrkamp restores missing teeth at Wehrkamp Dentistry, and he can be reached for more information through his website.
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