How to React to Losing (or Breaking) an Adult Tooth

Adult teeth are commonly knocked out by falls, sports accidents, biting down on hard objects, and other mishaps. Damaging or losing permanent adult teeth can be scary. Minor tooth injuries can often be treated by your dentist, but severe tooth and mouth injuries require a specialist to perform expert extractions, restorations, and sometimes even bone grafting procedures. Oral surgeons are experts in repairing facial injuries of all kinds, including tooth replacements. In fact, many oral surgeons are on staff at major hospitals to treat emergency facial trauma patients.

All of us at By Design Dental Implant Center know how frightening losing your permanent adult teeth can be, which is why we’ve listed a few steps to help you prepare for broken and lost teeth. To improve the chances of saving your natural tooth with minimal discomfort, follow these helpful instructions!

Broken Teeth: When you break a tooth, it’s vital that you immediately call your dentist or oral surgeon. Next, gently rinse your mouth with water, and bite on gauze or a damp tea bag to slow any bleeding. If you have one handy, use an ice pack to reduce pain and swelling. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help control pain.

Broken teeth can be caused by external factors, but internal problems (like cavities) often contribute to a tooth breaking. Root canals and other procedures are generally required to treat cavities, especially if they are severe enough to cause tooth breakage. You have the best chance of receiving the proper treatment for your condition if you seek treatment early.

Knocked-Out Teeth: When you have a tooth knocked out, it’s important to save the tooth and bring it to your oral surgeon quickly. Oral surgeons are experts in restoring teeth, and seeing an oral surgeon will give you the best chance of saving your natural tooth. An oral surgeon will also be able to address any issues with any surrounding facial muscles and tissues that were also damaged.

To preserve the tooth, make sure you only hold the chewing edge (crown) and not the root. Without cleaning the tooth, place it in a container with some whole milk or saliva to preserve it on your way to the office. Do NOT try to sanitize the tooth yourself using any sort of alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

If bleeding occurs, bite down on gauze, replacing the gauze every ten minutes until bleeding subsides. In the case that your tooth cannot be saved, dental implants are the best option to restore your smile and permanently replace your tooth. Contact us for more information about dental implants.

We hope you won’t need to use these instructions, but it never hurts to be prepared. If you are missing a tooth or several teeth, contact our office. We will do our best to schedule your appointment as soon as possible (usually the day you call). Our restorative team specializes in replacing missing teeth, and in the case that your teeth cannot be saved, our practice offers the best dental implant options available. We encourage you to contact us for your tooth restoration needs.