Dental emergencies happen: a tooth is knocked out, broken or chipped, you have a horrible toothache and don’t know the cause, you break your jaw, an object gets stuck in your teeth and you can’t remove it on your own. It is always better to call your Dentist as soon as possible when a dental emergency occurs, so they can better determine what treatment is needed. One type of dental emergency occurs when a tooth is knocked out. Teeth can be knocked out due to accidents, sports injuries, or a punch or kick to the mouth. If you are unconscious at any point or if you have cuts that needs stitching, you will want to go to the emergency room. You will need to try to find the tooth that has been knocked out, and make sure to pick it up by the crown and not the root. Touching the root can cause damage to it that may prevent it from being able to be reattached to the bone. If you can’t find the knocked out tooth, you will need to see a doctor to make sure it wasn’t inhaled.
Once you have retrieved the tooth, you will need to rinse it off gently with cool water in order to remove dirt. However, DO NOT scrub the tooth, dry it off or wrap it in a tissue or cloth and remember, don’t touch the root. Also, there may be pieces of tissue attached to the tooth. Make sure NOT to remove them. After the tooth has been rinsed, you can try to place the tooth back in the socket with your fingers. Bite down and hold it in place with a clean cloth. You will want to get to a dentist as soon as possible. It is best to have it replaced within 30 minutes, but it absolutely should be reattached within an hour or two. The tooth should be kept moist at all times. If you are unable to replace the tooth in the socket, you can place it in clean milk, contact lens saline, or saliva. A tooth can be stored in water (with a pinch of salt) for up to 15 minutes, saliva for 30 minutes, and in milk for up to an hour. You can also keep the tooth next to your cheek or under your lip, but you need to be careful not to swallow it. Learn more about them at how to save a knocked out tooth
Dentists reserve time in their daily schedules for emergency patients. When you call your dentist, make sure to provide as much information as possible: How long has it been since the tooth was knocked out? Do you have the tooth? Do you have any pain or swelling? If you have dental insurance, have this information ready as well in order to expedite the process. If you don’t have dental insurance, let them know so they can help you work out a payment plan. DO NOT avoid the dentist because of a lack of insurance. Most dentists are happy to help you with a payment plan if that is needed. When a tooth is knocked out, it needs to be re-attached as soon as possible in order to save the tooth. If the tooth cannot be saved, you will still have dental issues that need addressed and in some cases, these can actually end up costing more money in the long wrong. Also, a delay in treatment can be dangerous due to increased risk of infection or other complications.