Injuries that lead to knocked out or broken teeth raise concerns about your appearance. You may be worried about the possibility of expensive treatments or a gap in your teeth. Even though a knocked out tooth can cause concerns, it is not the dire situation that you might imagine. The National Association of Endodontists reports that 5 million teeth are knocked out each year, so dental professionals have experience handling unexpected challenges associated with an injury or an accident.
What Can Knock Out a Tooth?
Several situations arise that can knock out a tooth, including accidents and injuries. Depending on the way that your tooth is knocked out and the extent of the damage, the best solution for your situation may vary.
Ways a tooth can be knocked out or broken include:
Playing sports and sport-related injuries
Getting into a fight
Biting down on hard objects, including foods, ice cubes or non-food items
Car accidents or similar accidents
Accidents or injuries that cause a knocked out tooth can also cause a broken tooth. If a tooth is not completely knocked out, then the treatment options may vary slightly; however, you should follow the same procedure if you break a tooth.
Call an Emergency Service
A severe injury can cause more damage than just a broken or knocked out tooth. If you are involved in a severe accident, then call emergency services immediately. Do not wait to seek professional help since it can make an injury worse or cause delays in treatment.
Contact Your Dentist
If the injury is not severe, then you can call your dentist for emergency treatments. Get in contact with your dentist immediately, even if it is not during normal business hours. Many dentists will offer emergency services when a tooth is knocked out or broken.
Do not waste time when your tooth has been knocked out. If your dentist is not available for any reason, then contact another dentist in your area. Ideally, you want to get into the dentist’s office within 30 minutes after the tooth is knocked out.
Pick up the Tooth
Do not leave your tooth alone. Pick it up by the crown and gently rinse it off with water. If it is possible, then place the tooth back in your mouth at the location where it was knocked out. Never pick up your tooth from the root. Lifting the tooth by the root can damage the root and make it more difficult to reconnect your tooth.
When the tooth is broken into pieces, pick up all of the pieces that you can find. In some cases, it might be possible to put the tooth back together; however, the best solution for your specific situation will depend on the severity of the problem. Do not assume that the damage cannot be repaired without discussing the situation with a dentist.
Rinse Your Tooth
Even if you cannot place the tooth in your mouth, rinse it gently with water before going to the dentist. Rinsing it will help a dentist determine the best course of action because it is easier to determine if the tooth is cracked or damaged in any way. Go to the dentist as quickly as possible after you prepare your tooth.
A gap in your teeth that comes from a knocked out or missing tooth might cause concerns about your smile, but you do have options if your tooth is knocked out. Do not allow a broken or damaged tooth to prevent you from enjoying your smile. Get to a dentist quickly to learn more about your options when a tooth is knocked out.