The sudden loss of a tooth can be traumatic and painful. Before seeing a dentist, it is important to remain calm and locate the tooth.
Handling a displaced tooth
Grasp the tooth by the crown, or the top, only. Do not touch the roots. They are living and your hands have bacteria on them.
Take a close look at the tooth for cracks or missing parts.
If the tooth has blood or tissue on it, do not attempt to clean it. Cleaning at this point will damage the roots and the tooth will not be viable once reset in the jaw. If the tooth has dirt on it, rinse it very briefly in a bowl of water at lukewarm temperature. Do NOT hold the tooth under running water, as this will kill the cells on the surface of the roots. These cells are needed to grow and help reattach the tooth in your mouth.
Replace the tooth in the socket
Attempt to replace the tooth into its socket. Be patient. If the tooth does not slide into place, bite down carefully on gauze or a damp paper towel and hold the tooth in place. See the dentist as an emergency patient with the tooth held in place.
If temporary replacement does not work
There are products to preserve a knocked-out tooth, but few will have it on hand, and time is very important for viability. Instead, place the tooth in a mild, salt water solution or in some milk. If this fails to be workable, place the tooth in your mouth in your cheek.
Immediately see an emergency dentist. If one is not available, go straight to a hospital emergency room.
The success of a tooth remaining viable to implantation rests upon a couple of circumstances.
The first two hours after the loss are vital to successful reimplantation. The likelihood of the tooth reintegrating into the jaw and remaining alive becomes poor after the two-hour limit.
If the tooth has a chip or missing component near the root, chances are that some of the root canal and nerve were left in the jaw with the trauma. When this is evident, success for reimplantation becomes lower.
The process used to reimplant the tooth
Once the tooth is replaced into its socket, it is imperative that it remain completely stable until bone can regrow around the roots. The doctor will splint the tooth to the surrounding teeth to prevent movement.
The newly implanted tooth will need to be splinted for two to eight weeks. Unaffected teeth should be brushed thoroughly, but the replaced tooth cannot be brushed or flossed at all. The individual should avoid any pressure or biting on the tooth.
In some cases of avulsed or knocked-out teeth, the Oshawa dentist can stabilize the tooth and then perform a root canal. This preserves the tooth artificially, as a filler replaces the original pulp.