Life happens fast, and even the best dental care regimen cannot always account for the unexpected. A blow to the mouth is never pleasant, but when it damages your permanent teeth, you need to know the best steps to take. Many patients are surprised by how many options exist to save your tooth in just such a predicament, so do not panic. Follow these simple instructions to increase the likelihood of saving your tooth.

Managing A Broken or Chipped Tooth

A broken or chipped tooth can cause discomfort, but fast action can help prevent it from developing into a crisis. The first step is for you to find the piece of your tooth that was broken off by the incident. You see, the piece can most probably be glued back on. So, it is critical that you do everything you can to locate the missing piece as rapidly as possible. Once you have it, you need to seek immediate medical attention from your dentist. Time is of the essence, so keep calm and get to the dental office as quickly as you can.

Managing A Knocked Out Tooth

When your tooth has been completely knocked out, you will need to take extra care in order to save it. The first step is, once again, to find that tooth! In the excitement that follows the sort of collision or event that can knock out a tooth, there may be several distractions. Do your very best to focus on just locating your tooth before it is lost for good. When you do have it, be careful to hold it by the crown. It is best to avoid touching the root if at all possible. Find a sink, and be sure that it is plugged – you would not want to accidentally drop your tooth down the drain! Rinse the tooth with cold tap water.

Once that is completed, you have a few alternatives. You can gently try to put the tooth back in its place. If you are unable to comfortably secure it temporarily back into its socket, you can also place the tooth in a cup of milk or saline. Alternatively, you can hold the tooth in your mouth between your gums and cheek. Any of these options are fine, just be certain you will not lose or misplace the tooth. You should then seek immediate, specialized dental treatment. The highest success rate for treatment occurs within two hours of the initial incident, so do not delay.

Most of your permanent teeth can be saved if you follow these steps after a blow to the mouth. Stay calm, be sensitive to the time, and remain positive. You dentist is on your side, ready to do whatever he or she can to help restore your beautiful, healthy smile.

About the Author

Dr. Harris has been a practicing dentist since 2005. In 2012, he received his Master’s of Science in Dentistry and a certificate in Endodontics. He founded East Coast Endodontics shortly after receiving his master’s degree. He also currently holds a part-time position as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Endodontics department at Virginia Commonwealth University. View his full bio.