Athletes may experience many surprising health problems that can affect their overall success or trigger other lingering concerns. For example, football players may get hit in the mouth during a game and, in spite of their helmet or mouthguard, experience tooth loss. This situation can be a real problem unless they work with an emergency dentist who understands how to save their teeth.
Helping the Player After the Hit
The moment a football player takes a heavy hit that knocks out their teeth, it is important to avoid panicking. The player should let the officials know what has happened so that the game can stop temporarily. Alerting the officials gives everyone time to seek out the tooth and the coach or team physician to help the player. A cold compress may slow the gum's bleeding until the player arrives at the dentist.
While others look for the tooth, the player should also receive general healthcare, like getting checked for a concussion before the physician calls an emergency dentist. Letting them know the situation before bringing in the player helps them prepare for surgery. This surgery often includes cleaning the wound and carefully inserting the tooth back into the jaw with surgical cement.
Working With the Dentist
After the tooth is found, the player should be taken, with the tooth, to the emergency dentist's office. Keeping the tooth in a separate container, such as an old medicine bottle with a sealing top, can keep it from getting lost. The player's parent or coach should take them to the dentist rather than letting the player drive themselves. There may be anesthetics during surgery, and the player may need someone to drive them home after.
When arriving at the office, the player will be quickly assessed by the dentist before their mouth and teeth are cleaned. The dentist will remove any dirt or debris from the guns before working. They also check the tooth's root to see if it can be inserted back into the jaw. If so, they may give the player an anesthetic to avert excessive pain before they insert the tooth back into the jaw.
Recovering After Surgery
Inserting the tooth back into the jaw should take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on the tooth's health and the adaptability of the player's gums. After surgery, the player may need to avoid practice for a few weeks to give the tooth time to set. Visits back to the dentist may help by assessing gum growth and gauging how well it is fitting around the roots.
Reach out to a dental practice, like Cruz Davis Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, to learn more.