You never want to assume that you or someone you know will suffer a dental emergency. However, mouth-related injuries are more common than you think. Although you cannot predict a mouth accident, there are several very important steps you should know if you find yourself in a dental emergency. Would you know what to do to save your tooth if it was knocked out?
Although severe tooth pain, a lost filling or a broken denture are all common dental emergencies, the dental emergency that often has people in the most panic is a knocked out or avulsed tooth. Here are three important actions to follow to save your tooth after it has been knocked out:
- See your dentist immediately
- It is important to find a dentist, such as Group Health Dental, that has emergency dental appointments or an on-call dentist. Getting to the dentist, not the ER, within 30 minutes can be the difference between saving or losing a tooth.
- Handle with Care
- You should handle your tooth by the crown, not the root, so that you do not damage the cells necessary for bone reattachment. Gently rinse the tooth with water, but never scrub it.
- Keep it Moist
- Do not let your tooth dry out. Either place the tooth back in the socket or wrap it in a clean cloth and immerse it in milk or saliva.
If there is pain and swelling or you suspect a tooth is fractured, use an ice pack and take ibuprofen, not aspirin. Your emergency dentist can help determine the best chance for tooth reattachment or other reconstructive procedures that may be needed. If you or your child is involved in sports, it is crucial that a mouthguard be used to prevent sports-related mouth injuries. Group Health Dental can provide custom mouth guards to protect your teeth in athletics.