Losing a tooth can be an upsetting experience, but trying to stay calm and knowing what to do in such a dental emergency could improve your chances of a full recovery.
Your dentist may even be able to reattach a knocked-out tooth, depending on its condition and how soon able to get to the dental clinic.
If your mouth is bleeding
The first thing to check if you lose a tooth is whether there's any bleeding. If there is, wet a clean cloth and apply pressure to the site.
Keep this in place for at least 15 minutes before checking if the bleeding has stopped.
Call a dentist
When you've controlled the bleeding, call your dentist or get someone to call for you. Explain the situation and ask if you can arrange an emergency appointment.
Some dental clinics set aside time every day for patients who need urgent care. If you can see a dentist within 30 to 60 minutes of the accident, and the tooth is still intact, there's a chance it could be restored.
Even if the tooth can't be reattached, you should still see a dentist so they can check your mouth and discuss your options for replacing the tooth if you choose to, such as dental implants or a dental bridge.
How to save a tooth
Clean the tooth gently
If the tooth is still intact and isn't broken into pieces, pick it up carefully by the crown (the smooth top of the tooth) and remove any dirt with milk or saliva.
Don't use water and don't touch the tooth roots (the pointy bottom part), as this can damage the tooth.
Place the tooth back in the socket
Position the tooth correctly in your mouth and try to gently push it back inside the gum. If this works, you should feel it click into place and the top of the tooth will look roughly level with the others.
Bite down on a clean cloth to hold the tooth in place and go to the dentist.
If the tooth doesn't fit
If the tooth doesn't easily slide back into the socket, don't try to force it, as this could cause an injury.
Instead, you should place the tooth in a container of milk or saliva or wrap it in plastic and take it to the dentist. Don't use water and don't allow the tooth to dry out.
Can a baby tooth be saved?
Only permanent teeth can be reattached. If a child's deciduous tooth (milk tooth) has been knocked out prematurely, it will eventually be replaced by the permanent tooth growing beneath. Trying to replace the tooth now could cause damage to the adult tooth.
It's still important to see a dentist so they can check for any injuries and offer any advice to help their recovery.
If there's pain or swelling
If you can't see a dentist right away, and you're in pain or your mouth is swollen, over-the-counter pain relief or anti-inflammatory medication could help to ease your symptoms.
Placing a cold compress or an ice pack wrapped in cloth against the side of your face could also help to relieve pain and swelling.
Talk to a dentist in Sydney CBD
If you have a dental emergency, it's time for your check-up or you just need some advice, contact our team at Sydney CBD Dental today.
Call (02) 9232 3900 or make an appointment online.
Healthdirect. Dental injury [Online] 2017 [Accessed August 2019] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dental-injury
Queensland Government. Emergency dental [Online] 2015 [Accessed August 2019] Available from: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/services/oral-eye-ear/emergency-dental