Dealing with Emergency Tooth Relief

If you’re active at all whether it’s playing a sport, or fixing things around the house, or maintaining your vehicle, somehow and in some way a tooth emergency can occur. Today we look at what to do for a loose permanent tooth, or a knocked out tooth until you can get here.  Dental emergencies do not always have to end with a tooth loss.

If I have a tooth knocked loose, will it heal?

In a situation where a tooth has not been completely knocked out, just knocked a little out of position, dentists can gently re-position the tooth into place. Re-positioning immediately after a tooth emergency may help sustain the periodontal ligament tissue. This fibrous tissue has the job of keeping a tooth attached to the bone structure.  Depending upon the extent of the damage and how quickly you arrive to your dentist, the chances that the tooth can reattach to the bone are greater. In some situations, a tooth splint might be required until the tooth can reattach itself to the jaw bone.  A tooth or dental splint looks like braces only on a smaller scale. Wires are attached to the injured tooth and the teeth on either side to steady it into position as it heals.

If I have a Tooth Knocked Out of Place, Can it be Put Back in?

The sooner you arrive at a dentist’s office or emergency room for re-implantation of a permanent tooth; the greater chance you have of saving the tooth. When a dental trauma, like a knocked out tooth occurs, here is what you need to do immediately:

  • Handle the tooth and any tooth fragments with care.  Do not touch the root.  Gently rinse the tooth in lukewarm water for 10 seconds to remove any debris.  Please do not scrub the tooth or wash it in alcohol.
  • Rinse your mouth out to be sure all tooth fragments are gathered.
  • Position the knocked out tooth into the socket and bite down on a piece of cloth or gauze.
  • If this is impossible, store the permanent tooth or baby tooth in whole milk.  If milk is not available you can insert the knocked out tooth between the cheek and gum until you get to the dentist’s office.
  • Take ibuprofen (like Motrin) for pain and control the bleeding with something sterilized like a gauze pad.

Next Steps

Do you need an immediate, same-day appointment? You can depend on Dr. Matthew Mastrorocco to alleviate pain, repair cracked or chipped teeth, perform emergency extractions, or replace troublesome fillings. Our aim is to get you back into your normal routine as quickly as possible! Our amazing team is flexible when it comes to scheduling, and we put the needs of our patients first. If you are a current patient and are experiencing an after-hours dental emergency, please call our office (843) 682-4601.