Every year, more than 5 million teeth are
knocked out in children and adults. Are they lost forever?
Traumatic dental injuries most often occur in accidents or sports-related injuries. But with proper emergency action, did you know that a tooth that has been knocked out of its socket can be successfully replanted and last for years?
A severed root experiences damage to blood vessels and tissue, but the ligaments connecting the tooth to the bone can be re-formed. The key to a successful re-implantation is how the missing tooth is stored and for how long.
What Steps Can be Taken to Increase the Likelihood of Saving a Knocked Out Tooth?
1. Pick up tooth by the crown (the chewing surface) not the root.
Locate the tooth immediately; do not leave it at the site of the accident. The tooth should be handled carefully – touch only the crown – to minimize injury to the root.
2. If dirty, gently rinse tooth with water while holding it by the crown.
Do not use soap or chemicals. Do not scrub the tooth. Do not dry the tooth. Do not wrap it in a tissue or cloth
3. Immediately place the tooth back into its original socket, if possible.
The sooner the tooth is replaced, the greater the likelihood it will survive. To reinsert, carefully push the tooth into the socket with fingers, or position above the socket and close mouth slowly. Hold the tooth in place with fingers or by gently biting down on it.
4. Keep tooth moist at all times.
If the tooth cannot be replaced in the socket, place it in one of the following:
~ Emergency tooth preservation kit
~ Milk – milk contains proteins, sugar, and antibacterial substances so it provides the ideal environment for a lost tooth. As an added bonus, the sugars in milk help feed cells, which need to remain alive and growing in the short term.
~ Mouth (next to cheek) – your cheek will work well for storage in the interim…just be careful not to swallow your precious cargo!
~ Regular tap water is NOT recommended for long-term storage because the root surface cells do not tolerate water for long periods of time.
5. See the nearest available dentist within 30 minutes.
Bring the tooth to a dentist as soon as possible – ideally within 30 minutes. However, it is possible to save the tooth even if it has been outside the moth for an hour or more.
Depending on the damage, a successful re-implanted tooth can heal significantly in three to four weeks, and become fully repaired within two months. But, you may ask, what happens if you cannot find the tooth or the tooth is unable to be replanted? Dental implants are a great way to bring your smile back to life!
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots used to support a restoration for a missing tooth or teeth, helping to stop or prevent jawbone loss. Unlike dentures and bridgework, implants are a solution proven by experience to last for many years. They look and feel like your natural teeth, and eliminate the worry of slipping or coming loose.
By replacing missing tooth roots, dental implants provide people with the strength and stability required to eat all the foods they love, without struggling to chew. Additionally, dental implants stimulate and maintain jawbone, preventing bone loss and helping to maintain facial features.
If you have lost teeth due to trauma, tooth decay, root canal failure, gum disease, or other factors, implants may be the solution! Dental implant surgery is, of course, surgery, and is best done by a trained surgeon. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have the specialized education and training in the complexities of the bone, skin, muscles and nerves involved, to ensure you get the best possible results.
At McGann Facial Design, we are experts in dental implant surgery and have been helping patients for decades. While accidents happen, we want to help get your confidence and smile back to life! Contact Us today determine if dental implants are right for you.
Click here to visit the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons website and read more about dental implant surgery.