Dental Care for Kids: Finding the Right Dentist

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What To Do When Your Tooth Is Knocked Out

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If you've just knocked out your tooth, you have to take quick action if you want to save it. Your tooth will have the best chance of survival if you can push it back into its socket within five minutes. Then you need to get to a dentist right away for treatment. This is what you should do.

Clean And Replace Tooth

Don't touch the root end of your tooth. Grab the tooth by the chewing end and hold it under running water. If there is no water nearby, use bottled water or saliva to rinse the roots. Then you can push the tooth back into its socket and head to the dentist. If you can't place the tooth back into its original position, then place it between your gum and cheek, so it will stay moist until you get to the dentist's office. Take care not to let the tooth dry out.

Seek Emergency Dental Treatment

Don't delay dental treatment, because the longer you wait, the less chance there is of reimplanting the tooth successfully. The dentist considers the condition of your injury to determine if the tooth can be saved. If the tooth is whole and you have no bone fractures around the socket, saving the tooth may be as simple as positioning it properly and splinting it in your mouth. This can be done by wiring it to the teeth on each side to hold it securely in place while it heals. It could take from three to eight weeks for the tooth to reattach to the bone.

Replace A Tooth That Can't Be Saved

If your tooth cannot be saved, or if it doesn't reattach successfully, you have other options for closing the gap in your smile. Dental implants are ideal for replacing missing teeth. During this procedure, the dentist inserts a metal implant into your bone, and then attaches an artificial tooth to the top of it. Because the metal implant fuses with your bone, the tooth is very secure. You'll be able to eat normally, and the tooth will look just like one of your natural teeth.

Another option is to have a bridge. A bridge is an artificial tooth that is anchored in place by the teeth on each side of it, rather than an implant. The drawback to this option is the healthy teeth need to be covered with crowns so the bridge is secure.

While trying to save your tooth is the best option, it isn't always possible, since you may not even be able to find your tooth if it is knocked out in the grass while playing sports. If you can't find your tooth, see a dentist like anyway, so the wound can be cleaned to prevent infection.