If you or someone you know has unexpectedly lost a tooth, it can be a frightening experience. Whether you’re looking to be prepared in the worst-case scenario or are frantically searching for solutions on your iPhone, we’ve got answers:
How Can I Save the Tooth?
- Collect and Preserve the Lost Teeth — The first thing to do is to find the tooth. Do your best to only hold the tooth by the crown (the top, not the root). Rinse the tooth off gently only if necessary (for example, if it fell in dirt at a football practice). Don’t use any cleaning chemicals or alcohol—just water. If you don’t feel comfortable temporarily re-inserting the tooth yourself, preserve the tooth in a glass of milk if possible.
- Temporarily Reinsert the Tooth (OPTIONAL) — If possible, reinsert the teeth into their proper “sockets.” The person should bite down on gauze or some other material if available to hold the tooth in place. Regardless of if you choose to perform this step, you should always visit a dentist or Emergency Room after unexpected tooth loss.
- Treat Any Symptoms — If the person is in significant pain, it is safe to take a painkiller such as Ibuprofen. Likewise, if they are bleeding you can safely give them a gauze pad to bite on to absorb any blood flow (if not done already for tooth reinsertion).
- Visit the ER or a Dentist Immediately — Don’t lollygag, but don’t panic either. Visit someone who can see you in an emergency quickly, the fibroblasts begin to die within 30 minutes after the tooth is lost, and the longer it takes for you to reach a medical professional, the more difficult and less likely it is that the tooth will be successfully reinserted.
If you or someone you know has unexpectedly lost a tooth, contact an emergency professional immediately. If you would like to contact us in such an emergency or would simply like to schedule an appointment with Dr. D’Alfonso you can find the contact information for our office here.