We would all love if everything went as planned, and if we never got hurt. Unfortunately, sometimes accidents happen. Trauma to the face or teeth can be caused by any number of activities, from a baseball game to a car accident. Significant head trauma should be evaluated and treated in hospital emergency rooms, and when trauma occurs to your teeth, it’s important to know what to do to save your smile. Any dental injury will require an immediate examination by a dentist to diagnose the extent of trauma and provide treatment. It is possible for neighbouring teeth to suffer injuries that may go unnoticed, which will be detected by a thorough dental exam.
If you’re in an emergency situation, and your tooth comes out completely, don’t panic – we’ll help you through it!
1. Find your tooth and pick it up only by the crown (the white part), and be sure to avoid touching the root.
2. Clean the Area
No matter the degree of trauma to the tooth (a crack, chip, or loss of tooth), it’s important to clean both your face and the oral cavity with water or saline. This cleaning will make you feel more comfortable, help protect you from infection, and will facilitate the examination when you get to your dentist. If the tooth itself is dirty, wash it (for approximately 10 seconds) under cold running water.
3. Reposition the Tooth
One of the most important variables affecting the success of your tooth re-implantation, is the amount of time that the tooth is out of its socket. If you can, try to replant the tooth, then hold it in position by biting down on a cloth. If you are unable to replant the tooth, place it in a storage medium, such as a glass of milk or a special storage formula for avulsed teeth – Avoid storage in water! You can also transport your tooth in your mouth, just be careful to keep it between your molars and the inside of your cheek. Warning: For children, this method produces a risk of swallowing the tooth, so it is advisable to have them spit in a container and place the tooth inside.
4. Seek emergency dental treatment immediately.
Click here for more detailed information on tooth trauma.
Braces can actually “strengthen” your teeth while in treatment!
We have had a few patients with braces that had accidents, but their teeth stayed in even if there was a big trauma! Thankfully, the braces kept them all attached together! The impact was distributed on several teeth instead of only one, and the roots all remained in place!
If your tooth has been knocked out, fractured, or displaced, it is best to contact your Ottawa family dentist first, as we may not have the materials or anesthesia required to treat these injuries. If your appliances get displaced or dislodged due to trauma, we will need to either adjust or replace the appliances as soon as possible, after you have seen your general dentist, depending on your comfort level. We always tell our patients, don’t worry about your appliances, we will fix them after, save your teeth first!