Many people have
experienced some form of dental injury and did not know how to manage the
situation. In this section, we will go over some of the more common
accidents that can happen and will give you some information on how to
treat the accidents.
After following the
instructions here, you should get to your dentist or emergency room at
your local hospital as soon as possible and have a doctor evaluate the
The topics discussed
here will include: Loose or broken teeth from injury to the face or jaws.
Knocked out teeth from injury to face or jaws.
you're at work, on vacation or at home, the last thing on
your mind is a dental emergency. Would you know the
appropriate steps to take if you or your child broke a
tooth? The American Dental Association says getting to the
dentist within 30 minutes can make a difference between
saving or losing a tooth.
Don't scrub it.
Insert in socket or
Place in milk or water.
are many sports in which trauma can occur. Sports such as basketball,
baseball, football and others can result in a blow to the face that may
cause your tooth or teeth to become loose.
The first thing to
do is to check the tooth for signs of fracture or broken pieces. If there
are broken pieces from the tooth, find them and save them. Gently rinse
off any debris or dirt with water. Do not at any time scrub the pieces of
the tooth with any form of brush or abrasive material. Simply rinse the
pieces and place them in either water, milk, or between your cheeks and gums. The
idea here is
that you want the fragment of tooth to not dry out. By keeping the
fragment moist as described above, you will have a greater chance that
your dentist will be able to successfully reattach the piece to your
Now check the
portion of your tooth that is still in your mouth. If it is loose, do not
try to pull the tooth out. Quickly check the area around the tooth for any
fractured pieces of bone. Gently rinse the area with water. Take your self
and any pieces of the tooth to your dentist as soon as possible.
The dentist should
check the area and make sure that no other injuries have occurred. The
typical treatment for a loose tooth is to stabilize the tooth in the
mouth. After numbing you up, your dentist will reposition the tooth in its
original position. He will then bond the tooth to the adjacent teeth using
a plastic material called composite. This will stabilize the tooth and
prevent it from moving. Once stabilized the bone that holds the tooth in
place will heal and the tooth will become firm.
After about two
weeks, the composite bonding can be removed, as the tooth will have
you have a tooth knocked out from trauma, there are several things that
you can do to increase the chance of saving the tooth.
First and foremost,
find the tooth. Once you find the tooth, do not touch the root of the
tooth. The root is the long part that stays in the bone. There are many
delicate fibers and cells on the root and if they are damaged by careless
handling, this will decrease the likelihood that the bone will reattach
itself to the tooth.
Hold the tooth by
the crown, the portion that is visible in the mouth. Inspect the tooth and
make sure that there is no debris or dirt on the tooth. If visible debris
is present, gently rinse with either warm water (not to hot) or milk. Do not at any
time scrub the tooth with any sort of brush, as this will cause
irreversible damage to the tooth.
If you can, attempt
to gently place the tooth back in the jawbone. If the tooth does not go in
its original position, or it is uncomfortable or painful for you to do so,
do not force the tooth in place. If you can place the tooth back in the
socket, place it there and get to your dentist or emergency room
If unable to place
the tooth back, you have several choices. Either place the tooth in a
glass of milk or water. Another option is to place the tooth between your
cheek and gums. This will prevent the tooth from drying out and will
greatly increase the chances that your dentist can save the tooth. Studies
and research have shown that the sooner you can get to the dentist, the
better chance you have for saving the tooth. The main factor for saving
your tooth is to keep it moist and not let it dry out. This is why keeping
the tooth in either milk or between your cheek is important. Additionally
there are kits available at your local drug store that contain a special
solution that prevents the tooth from drying out.
You should get to
the emergency room or your dentist within an hour as this gives you the
best chance for saving your tooth. Teeth that have been knocked out and
left dry for more than four hours have the poorest chance of survival. If
the tooth is kept in a drug store kit (most common one is called
Sav-A-Tooth) they have been successfully re implanted in the jawbone after
Once you arrive at
your dentist, he will take an x-ray to make sure there are no visible
fractures. He will then reposition the tooth back in its socket and
stabilize the tooth using a plastic material called composite. This will
prevent the tooth from moving around and allow the bone to heal around the
tooth. The teeth are stabilized for about two weeks after which the
bonding is removed.
Any time you have an
injury to a tooth, there is a chance that the nerve of the tooth will die.
This will require that the tooth will need a root canal to remove the
nerve. Common symptoms of a root canal include discoloration of the tooth,
pain in the tooth.
the area gently with a cloth and then apply cold
compresses to reduce the swelling. If the bleeding
doesn't stop, go to a hospital emergency room
Try to gently remove the object with dental
floss and avoid cutting the gums. Do not use a sharp
instrument. If you're not successful in removing the
object, go to the dentist.
Rinse the mouth
with warm water to clean it out. Make sure food or
foreign objects aren't lodged around the tooth by using
"Don't ever put aspirin or
any painkiller on the gums or around the aching tooth
because it can cause a burn on the mouth and do more
harm than good"