Contact and sometimes non-contact sport can often lead to Dental Emergencies and generally involve the front teeth. Dental Emergencies can involve a chipped tooth or a tooth that has been “knocked out”, commonly known as an avulsed tooth. Avulsed teeth are one of the most serious dental emergencies for permanent (adult) teeth. However, the damage can be fixed. If you act quickly, there’s a good chance the tooth can be saved. When a permanent tooth is avulsed, there is an excellent chance that the tooth will survive if the tooth is immediately placed back into the tooth socket and dental advice is sought. Every minute the tooth is out of the socket, the less chance it has of surviving.
How to respond to an Avulsed Tooth
Dental Health Services Victoria offer the following step by step guidelines:
If the knocked-out tooth is dirty, gently rinse it with milk without touching the root and follow the steps below. Do not scrub.
Stay calm and act quickly.
Locate the tooth and hold it by the crown (smooth white part).
If the root has dirt on it, gently rinse the tooth in milk or saline solution such as contact lens solution for a few seconds only – do not use water or scrub.
If the person is conscious, hold the cleaned tooth by the crown and replace it into its socket using light pressure. Hold the tooth in place by getting the person to gently bite on a handkerchief.
Seek immediate advice or treatment from an oral health professional
What if I can’t replace the Avulsed Tooth?
In some instances, you may not be able to replant the tooth back into its socket. Make sure to keep the tooth moist. Drop it into a glass of milk (lukewarm). If you can’t do this, place the tooth in your mouth, between the cheek and gum. A young child may not be able to safely “store” the tooth in his or her mouth without swallowing it. Instead, have the child spit into a cup. Place the tooth in the cup with the saliva. If nothing else is available, place the tooth in a cup of water. The most important thing is to keep the tooth moist.
What if the Avulsed Tooth is not an adult tooth?
Do not try to replant a baby tooth. Replanting baby teeth can lead to damaging the adult tooth sitting underneath the primary tooth socket and may also delay dental exfoliation.
See a dental professional as soon as possible.
What is the tooth is broken not avulsed?
Clean the area by rinsing the mouth with warm water. Use an ice pack wrapped in a clean towel or a cold compress on the face if needed to reduce swelling. If the tooth fragment is broken and is intact, store it in milk or saliva. See a dental professional as soon as possible.
Where can I seek dental care immediately?
Make an appointment immediately with your local dentist (Kiddies Dental Care (03) 9038 4407) or for Public Dental Emergency Care call: 1300 360 054.
If this is a Dental Emergency, click here for our Dental Emergency Information.
Thanks Kay (Karishma), our Oral Health Therapist from our Werribee Clinic. Great information for teenagers (and adults also). If you want to talk to her about this or any other questions you may have, please contact us on 03 9372 8960.