Damaged Teeth Can Be Saved

Dental damage such as a chipped or knocked-out tooth is quite common. The damage can occur from sports injuries or accidents. The key to saving a tooth that has been knocked out is quickly getting to a dentist.  

Knocked out tooth:

First, determine the condition of the tooth immediately following the injury. For example, if your child had a tooth partially knocked out, try to identify whether the tooth is a primary, or “baby” tooth, or a permanent tooth. Pushing a baby tooth back into place may damage the underlying  permanent tooth’s development. In this case it is better not to try to reposition the tooth.

So, if a baby tooth is damaged, do not attempt to push it back into place. Instead, keep the tooth in place as it is and head directly to your dentist’s office for an emergency appointment. The dentist will determine the best course of action, whether it’s completely removing the baby tooth or letting it remain and fall out naturally.

If a permanent tooth has been knocked out and is still in one piece, only touch the tooth by its crown, or the top portion of the tooth that is visible when you smile. Touching the tooth root  increases the chances of bacteria passing from your hands to the tooth, which in turn increases the risk of infection once the tooth is implanted back into the gums. Handling a tooth this way can also damage the ligaments that are needed for reattachment.

Finally, if the tooth has fallen on the ground, DON’T clean it.  The tooth must be kept moist in order for it to stay alive until your dentist can properly reinsert it. In the meantime, placing it in saliva or milk will help prevent it from drying out.

In the event a tooth cannot be saved, there are options for replacement including dental implants. Tooth damage can be prevented, especially in children, by wearing properly fitted mouthguards.

If teeth have been damaged due to an accident contact us immediately. Most hospital emergency departments do not have dentists on staff to deal with these emergencies. Please call Dr. John Highsmith in Clyde, NC today at 828-627-9282.

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Posted in: Dental Implants, Oral Health

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