Did you chip a tooth? Have you recently lost a filling or a crown? What should you do when a dental injury occurs? This depends on the nature of the injury. Though, in any situation, it is important to act fast. Time is of the essence if you want to save your teeth. Here are some suggestions if you or your child experiences a dental injury.
Dealing with Chipped or Fractured Teeth
If you chip or fracture a tooth, you should make sure that you save the broken piece. Depending on where the tooth is broken or chipped, your dentist may be able to repair your tooth. Rinse the broken piece in warm water and then set in a small glass of milk.
Next, you should contact your dentist and schedule a visit right away. If your local dentist accepts emergency visits, then you should be able to get in quickly.
Once you arrive at the dentist, they can determine if the tooth can be saved. This will depend on whether or not the pulp inside your tooth has been exposed or damaged. If the damage is too severe, then your dentist will likely fit your tooth with a crown or cap.
Otherwise, your dentist may be able to reattach the broken piece of your tooth. When this occurs, a tooth-colored filling is used to help hide the fracture.
Dealing with Dislodged Teeth
During an injury, your tooth could be pushed into its socket or dislodged. You may not need to visit the dentist immediately, but you should still schedule an appointment for as soon as possible. Until you visit the dentist, you should avoid eating any food that puts any impact on that tooth.
When you visit the dentist office, your dentist may be able to reposition the tooth. This may also require the use of a splint for several weeks. The splint will help the tooth remain place as your root and gums heal.
Occasionally, a root canal treatment is needed to ensure bacteria does not reach the inside of your root canal. For children between the ages of 7 and 12, this may not be necessary, as their teeth are still growing. Though, the dentist will still perform an x-ray to ensure the tooth is not severely damaged.
Dealing with a Knocked Out Tooth
Another dental injury that you may find yourself dealing with is a knocked out tooth. This requires immediate attention. Bacteria and debris could enter the socket, leading to a severely increased risk of developing gum disease.
When you have a tooth that is knocked out, you should save the tooth. Rinse it in warm water and then attempt to place it back in its socket. If you cannot place the tooth back in the socket or if it is too painful, then place it in a glass of milk. In either situation, you should contact your dentist immediately.
Your dentist will attempt to insert the tooth back in the socket unless you have already done so. As with dislodged teeth, a splint may be needed to help your tooth and gums heal.
Dealing with Damaged Gums
During a dental injury, there is a chance that you may also injure your gums. If you experience any pain near your gums, you should apply an icepack to your cheek, over the location of the pain. Hold the icepack in place until you are able to get in and see your dentist.
Dealing with Damaged Baby Teeth
Typically, if your child damages or loses a baby tooth, the main concern is the condition of their gums. It is not essential that you save a baby tooth. But, you can still make an effort. Follow the same steps mentioned above, if your child ends up with a dental injury to one of their baby teeth.
Final Thoughts on Treating Dental Injuries
Regardless of the injury, you should almost always contact your dentist as soon as possible. If they have emergency services, then visit the dentist immediately.
When dealing with a broken or missingtooth, you should rinse the broken piece or tooth in warm water and then place it in a glass of milk. The milk prevents the roots from drying out.
If you do not have any milk, then you have two options. You can either store the tooth between your gums and your cheek or place it in a cup filled with your own saliva. In either situation, the saliva helps protect the damaged tooth or broken piece.
What should you do if your dentist does not have emergency services? In some cases, you may be able to visit the emergency room of your local hospital. Though, you should be prepared to wait, as your injury may be considered a lower priority.
The next time that you or your child experiences a dental injury, use these tips to attempt and save the tooth. You may be able to avoid the need for a dental implant.
Author Bio – This guest post is written by Paul Brady in support of Thantakit International Dental Center, Thailand.