There is a brief window of opportunity in which an emergency dentist may be able to save a tooth that gets knocked out. The chances are better within 30 minutes after the injury and start to decrease after an hour, so prompt treatment is key. There are things you can do before seeing the dentist to help improve your chances of the tooth being saved.
What does an emergency dentist do to save the tooth?
There are several steps involved in the treatment to save a tooth that has been knocked out. They have to be carried out in the right order.
1. Irrigate the area
Bacteria, dirt, or other debris may get trapped in the socket left behind by your missing tooth. If allowed to remain, they could cause an infection or prevent proper reinsertion. Therefore, an emergency dentist typically flushes out the socket before proceeding to the next step.
2. Reinserting the tooth
Once the socket is clean, the dentist tries to reinsert the tooth back into its proper position. This is a delicate procedure performed as gently as possible.
3. Perform a root canal
What allows a tooth to reattach after it has been knocked out and then returned to its socket are root cells. These can only exist outside the mouth for a certain amount of time, but if reinserted promptly and not damaged in the interim, they can regenerate themselves. However, the structures inside the tooth, such as nerves and blood vessels, cannot regenerate themselves, nor can they be repaired. They can only be removed by a root canal procedure, which also involves filling the space that is left behind with a biocompatible material to strengthen it and avoid infection.
4. Splint the tooth
It takes time for the root cells to regenerate and stabilize the tooth. In the interim, it may feel loose and come out again if subjected to pressure. To prevent this from happening, an emergency dentist uses composite materials or soft wire to splint the tooth, attaching it to adjacent teeth for support. After a few days, the tooth should be stable enough to remove the splint.
What should you do to help save the tooth?
You need to take the tooth to the emergency dentist so that the procedure to save it can take place. You should handle it gently to avoid damage. Do not pick it up by the roots as you could kill the cells needed for reinsertion. Instead, pick it up gently by the part you chew on. If it is dirty, rinse it off carefully using water or milk but no chemicals. Try to insert it back into its socket but do not force it. If you cannot reinsert it, put it in a small container of milk that closes completely to keep it moist. You can also hold the tooth between your cheek and gums to prevent it from drying out, but only if you can avoid swallowing it.
It is important to note that sometimes, a knocked-out tooth cannot be saved. This can happen if the tooth is severely broken or crumbled, or if there is no way to get to an emergency dentist in time. In these situations, it is still important to seek prompt dental care. Sudden impact or trauma should always be evaluated because there could be even more damage to the underlying bones and tissues.
In the event that a lost permanent tooth cannot be reattached, a dentist will suggest other options for replacement. It is recommended that all lost permanent teeth be replaced promptly. A missing tooth can lead to a host of otherwise preventable problems, including:
- Changes in alignment and bite pattern
- Damage to the surrounding teeth
- Problems with speech and digestion
- Oral or jaw pain
In addition, a missing tooth can have a negative impact on a person's self-confidence and can inhibit their desire to smile and interact in social situations. For improved oral, mental, and overall health, tooth loss should be taken seriously.
There is a specific treatment that an emergency dentist performs to save a tooth that has been knocked out. It has to take place as soon as possible. By acting quickly and following the right steps, it is possible to reattach a missing tooth. In the event that the tooth cannot be saved, other options still exist to help restore the look and function of the patient's smile.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Emergency Dentist in Bellevue, WA.
An emergency dentist is a practitioner who provides relief to patients with an immediate dental concern. Emergency dental patients are almost always walk-in patients who need prompt treatment. Often, emergency dentists …
Toothaches happen to everyone from time to time, but when should you see an emergency dentist for your tooth pain? The truth is, most oral pain should be evaluated by a dental …
A dental emergency can come in many different types. Some types of emergencies are more urgent. Knowing what to do in one of these emergencies is a good idea. This will help you to effectively …
Broken teeth can be caused by several factors, including rot and, more often, impact. This can be due to exercise, violence or even eating certain foods. Strong gums will help ensure that teeth stay put, …