Every day, people all over Australia suffer from trauma to their mouth which can result in a dislodged tooth. Of course, people who have tooth decay will also suffer from a tooth falling out. This may require dental treatment to put right. However, it is not considered to be a dental emergency in the same way that a knocked-out tooth is. If you have a tooth knocked out from a blow or a fall, then you should seek an immediate appointment with your dentist. Emergency dentistry covers a number of different treatments, and dealing with dislodged teeth is among the most common. What do you need to know to give your tooth the best chance of survival?
Find Your Tooth
The first thing to do is to locate your dislodged tooth. Sometimes, if you have suffered a knock to your jaw, the tooth will be in your mouth still. It is imperative that you do not accidentally swallow the tooth. If you do, then you could choke on it. Even if you don't choke, a tooth that has been swallowed will be lost and any emergency dentistry you subsequently undergo will not be able to save it. Equally, if your tooth has fallen to the ground, then you must locate it so it can be saved. Be careful when picking it up because you need to handle dislodged teeth very tenderly.
Avoid Handling Your Tooth Too Much
Once you have found your tooth, try to not touch it. Use a handkerchief or a paper towel to carefully pick it up rather than using your bare fingers. If it has become dirty, perhaps because it fell onto the ground, then run it under a tap with cool water. Don't scrub it clean, as this may damage the tooth, and wash it for no longer than a few seconds.
Take Your Tooth With You
Ideally, you will be able to place the dislodged tooth back into the hole in your gums. Most emergency dentists would agree that this is the best place for it, as it offers them the greatest chance of fixing the tooth permanently. However, you may have swelling in your mouth as a result of the trauma you have received. Placing your tooth in its socket may, consequently, be impossible. If this is the case, then put your tooth into a small container of milk. This will help to preserve it. If milk is unavailable, then you can use your own saliva. As a last resort, you could always place the knocked-out tooth back in your mouth and hold it there against your cheek. Nevertheless, you must be very careful if you take this last option to ensure that the tooth does not get swallowed.
See Your Dentist Immediately
The next step is to seek emergency dental treatment. If you live in a large city, then there should be at least a couple of dental practices that you can turn to, day or night. On arrival, explain to your dentist how you sustained the injury because this will help him or her to take the necessary steps to assist you in refitting the dislodged tooth.