Losing baby teeth happens to everyone. But, when it happens to a permanent or "adult" tooth, you have a dental emergency on your hands.
Teeth are strong, and they’re anchored securely in your jaw. Even so, approximately five million teeth in kids and adults are knocked out every year. Speaking of children and adults, they have a nearly equal risk of this issue because it often happens in accidents that affect anyone, such as sports accidents, falling off bikes, and car accidents.
Thankfully, our experienced dentists at Greenwich Dentistry, located in Cos Cob, Connecticut, can help save your tooth — but only if you preserve it properly and get to our office quickly enough after the accident.
If you knock a tooth out, here’s how to give yourself the best chances of saving it.
Any incident that can knock out a tooth may leave you a little shocked, but it’s essential that you stay calm.
If you can find and preserve your tooth, our dentists can potentially repair it and reimplant it in your jaw. If you call our office right away and let us know what happened, we can offer instructions to guide you, and then provide emergency dental services to treat your broken or knocked-out teeth.
However, for the best results, you have to act very quickly. If you stay calm and handle the tooth correctly, you have about 60 minutes before your tooth’s chances of survival begin to drop dramatically.
That might seem obvious, but the first thing to do is find the knocked-out or broken piece of tooth. Once you find it, only touch it by the crown — that’s the visible, top portion of the tooth you can see when it’s in your mouth. If you handle the root that normally extends into your jaw, you can damage the tooth, reducing your chances of saving it.
After you find the tooth, rinse it with bottled water or milk, but don’t scrape, scrub, or use alcohol on it.
Finally, it’s crucial to keep the tooth moist. If you can, place the tooth back into its socket after rinsing your mouth out. You can also place it in a small container of milk or a special tooth preservation kit like “Save-A-Tooth.” Do not put a knocked-out tooth in tap water — exposing the tooth to the chemicals in the water can damage it.
Once you clean and safely store your tooth, head straight to our office.
If you want to save your tooth, See one of our dentists as soon as possible. The sooner we can assess the situation and take action, the better the chances we can save your tooth.
After we replant or repair your tooth, you’ll come back for a follow-up visit to make sure everything is still going well. That allows us to check that your tooth has reattached to your jaw and determine whether you require any additional care. For instance, a tooth that has been reimplanted after being knocked out is more susceptible to decay, so some people might need a root canal in the future.
And, rest assured that if we can’t save your tooth, you won’t have to live with a gap in your smile. We also offer several solutions to replace missing teeth, including bridges and dental implants.
If you knock out a tooth or have another dental emergency, don’t wait to contact our dental team. Call Greenwich Dentistry right away, and we’ll take great care of you.