Knocked out Teeth
When accidents happen, teeth can sometimes be completely knocked out. Many teeth can be replaced after being knocked out and some will survive very well after this.
The longer the tooth is out of the socket the poorer the chance it has surviving long term.
- Replace the tooth into its socket as soon as possible. This can be done by another person or the injured person themselves.
- Hold the tooth by the crown, ensure that there is no dirt or debris on the root and wash briefly under water.
- Gently push the tooth back into its socket.
- Hold the tooth in place by biting gently on a piece of cloth and see your dentist immediately.
It is important to keep the outside of the root healthy.
- If the tooth cannot be replaced into its socket, store it in milk to keep the cells on the outside of the tooth as healthy as possible until the tooth can be replanted.
- If milk is not readily available store the tooth either in saliva in a cup, or under the lip of the injured person (be careful not to swallow it).
- Scrubbing the root or wrapping it in a dry tissue will damage the root surface.
See your dentist as soon as you can.
- Knocked-out teeth nearly always need to be splinted to hold them into the correct position until the tooth connects to the socket.
- Some complications may occur after the tooth has been knocked out and replanted. Your dentist will check for these.
Please remember this advice is for managing knocked-out permanent teeth. If a baby tooth is knocked out, do not try to put it back in its socket, as this may damage the adult tooth that is developing under it. Always seek advice and treatment from a dentist.
Broken or chipped teeth are the most common dental injury. Sometimes these teeth can be very sensitive due to the inner layers of the teeth (dental pulp or dentine) becoming exposed. Other times the teeth don't cause any discomfort, they don't look great.
- It is important to protect these teeth to prevent infection developing inside the tooth, which can lead to an abscess.
- See your dentist for a protective covering over the tooth or a filling to replace the broken piece.
- Sometimes the broken fragment can be replaced, so if this is available then bring it with you and your dentist will decide if it can be used. Your dentist will do their best to get your broken tooth to look normal again.
Sometimes, a tooth can get displaced from its position within your mouth due to dental trauma. This may be very obvious if the tooth is pushed backwards or hanging out. Other times it may be less obvious.
- After an accident if you are having trouble closing your teeth together in a normal position, it is possible that a tooth may have moved.
- It is important that these teeth are put back in their normal position as soon as possible.
- This gives the tooth the best chance of surviving and reduces complications and further treatment later.
- See your dentist immediately if teeth have been displaced.
Sometimes injuries to the mouth can result in damage to the lips (cuts and bruises) or gums and structures surrounding the teeth.
It is important to get these checked properly for any underlying damage, such as broken bones around the teeth or the jaws, and any debris or tooth fragment that may be in a cut lip.
You can contact your dentist, doctor or the local hospital for this.