First-Aid Protocol for the Loss of a Permanent Tooth
As a child, losing a tooth was a momentous occasion marked by a special visit from the Tooth Fairy and a few dollars’ reward. The loss of a permanent tooth as an adult isn’t quite so exciting. It can be a frightening, time-sensitive experience, but knowing what to do during this dental emergency can improve the odds of salvaging the tooth.
Seek Urgent Treatment
Whether the result of a ball game, fist fight, or dental disease, the loss of a permanent tooth requires an immediate trip to the dentist (as in, five minutes ago). It may be possible to salvage the tooth, but only with immediate professional intervention. Without prompt attention, the tissue connecting to the tooth will quickly die, making it impossible to salvage. The socket could also become infected and lead to further complications.
Follow Proper First-Aid Protocol
There are a few steps patients can take to improve the odds of saving their lost tooth after this dental emergency. It’s important to note that the roots should never be touched or scrubbed; this puts the vulnerable tissue at risk. Instead, the tooth should be picked up by the crown. If roots are dirty, they can be rinsed with milk, saliva, or a saline solution.
After rinsing, the tooth should be placed back in the socket, if possible, and held in place using gauze or a washcloth. Storing the tooth in the mouth exposes the roots to saliva, which helps with preservation. If it can’t be stored in the mouth, it can be placed in a glass of milk for transport to the dentist. Avoid exposing the tooth to water, which can make it harder to re-implant. Next, it’s time to get to the dentist as quickly as possible for the best chance at salvaging the tooth.
Contact an Emergency Dentist
Most emergency rooms don’t have the equipment to re-implant a tooth, so opt for an emergency dentist in your area. If you’ve accidentally knocked out a tooth in Independence, MO, Hanson Dentistry may be able to help you salvage it with same-day emergency treatment. If we’re unable to re-implant your tooth, we may recommend dental crowns, partial dentures, or another natural-looking replacement. Don’t delay—call Hanson Dentistry now at 816-373-5606 for emergency dental services.