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Lost a Tooth In an Injury? Quick! Follow These Steps

December 7, 2020

It is imperative to know what to do if you are in an unlikely situation where you lose a tooth from trauma. The term for a tooth that is lost due to an injury is an “avulsed tooth.” When a fraction of a tooth breaks off but leaves the root inside the socket, it is called a tooth fracture. In the case of a tooth fracture, the root will likely need to be extracted or at least require a root canal. An avulsed tooth may be salvageable if you follow these steps: 

Immediate Next Steps After Tooth Avulsion 

  • Find the tooth
  • Touch the top of the tooth only, do not to touch the root.
  • If dirty, lightly rinse it in milk (or water if that’s all you have available). The root contains essential anatomy that will help it reconnect to your tissues.
  • If the tooth is clean, attempt to place it back in the correct direction if possible gently. If you can put it back in, hold it in with gauze or cloth until you see your dentist asap.
  • If you cannot place it back, store it in a container of milk or keep it in your mouth between your cheeks and your gums, where it will be bathed in your saliva until you see your dentist right away.
  • See your dentist within 30 minutes of the injury.

When you see the dentist or doctor, they will attempt to place the tooth back into the socket in the correct position. Ideally, the bone and tissues will heal back up around the root of the tooth over time. If the tooth heals appropriately into the socket, it will then require a root canal treatment because the blood and nerve supply was severed in the injury. If the tooth is rejected and does not heal, an implant or bridge will eventually be required to close the space. 

If you have any questions about what to do in the case of a dental injury, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

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