Make no mistake, if you get a permanent tooth knocked out, regardless of the circumstances (sports, accident, assault), it is indeed considered a dental emergency. The situation is never fun, but if handled correctly and in a prompt manner, more often than not the tooth can be saved. The tooth can be re-inserted into the empty socket if steps are taken to keep the ligament alive. If you cannot get to our office immediately, it is always helpful to know: What do I do next?
Dental Emergency Procedures
Handle with Care: When a tooth is torn from its socket, the ligament is destroyed. If the ligament and the tooth are to survive, all the nerve fibers need to still be attached to the tooth. Pick the tooth up by the crown, NOT the root. Wipe the excess dirt from the tooth and put it back into the empty socket. If it cannot be placed into the socket. Hold the tooth between your mouth and gums as you head to the emergency room. Hopefully by keeping the tooth in your own saliva it will help keep it alive for replacement and restoration back into the empty socket.
Tooth Storage: If it is impossible to get the tooth into your mouth, then your next best option is going to be milk. Place the tooth as quickly as possible into a glass of cold whole milk and cover it as best you can. This will keep your tooth alive for a much longer period.
First Aid: Control your bleeding as much as possible with sterile gauze or cloth. If there is pain or swelling, apply a cold ice pack or compress. If that does not help and the pain is worse take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Avoid using aspirin. A lot of people think that putting an aspirin or two against the gums where the pain is originating will help. This is not true, in fact, it will always cause more damage to the gums and the surrounding area.
If your tooth is lost in an accident and you take proper action, there is a 90 % chance you can save the tooth. If you are having a dental emergency, please call River Valley Smile Center at 479.646.0706. We will make every effort to get you into one of our dental professionals as quickly as we can to assess the damage, alleviate your pain and save your tooth if at all possible. We will answer all your questions and give you prompt, professional care.