So here it is. The most important thing to know about a knocked-out tooth is TIME.
In dentistry, there are very few things that can be considered true emergencies and these are usually trauma related. An emergency by nature dictates that time is a critical factor. Generally in a scenario of a knocked-out tooth, this time period is approximately 1 hour. What you do in that period has a big impact on the future of that tooth, so I think it’s important for the general public to know the basics of knocked-out tooth ‘First aid’. Here are the steps.
- If the whole tooth has been knocked out, the best chance for tooth survival is to put it back in straight away. Don’t be afraid to do it!
- Wash the tooth very quickly (seconds) if dirty and put the tooth back into the socket. Make sure the tooth faces the right way and is pushed all the way in.
- Contact a dentist as soon as possible, within the hour. Don’t leave it for a few days.
If you can’t put the tooth back yourself, the tooth needs to be stored in the right way. The easiest way to do this is either in milk or the person’s own mouth (e.g. inside the cheek or inside the lower lip).
So there it is. A few simple steps. Or for the visual reminder, click here for the Save that Tooth poster.
It would be handy to have this poster up at sport centres, sport clubs and work places. For a simple step-by-step guide, the Dental Trauma app ($3.79) is available for apple & android smartphones (Find it here).
Spread the word and save that tooth!