Breaking or losing an adult tooth can be scary, especially if it is the result of a traumatic face injury. Adult teeth can be knocked out or damaged by accidental falls, sports-related injuries, biting down on hard foods or objects, and other accidents. While minor tooth injuries can be treated by dentists, more severe mouth injuries require expert extractions and restorations, which are best performed by oral surgeons. In fact, many oral surgeons are on call at major hospitals to treat serious facial trauma injuries as they arise.
Our team at Beacon Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons knows how serious losing permanent teeth can be, which is why we’ve listed a few steps to help you prepare for the worst. If one of your teeth is broken or knocked out, follow these instructions to improve the chances of saving your lost tooth with minimal discomfort. If your natural tooth can’t be restored, our oral surgeons are experts in the restoration of teeth through dental implant placement.
Broken Teeth: Call your oral surgeon or dentist right away if you break a tooth. Before you get to the office, gently rinse your mouth with water, and try to stop any bleeding by biting on gauze or a damp tea bag. Also, use an ice pack to keep swelling to a minimum and reduce pain. You can also take Advil or other over-the-counter pain relievers to control pain.
While broken teeth can be caused by external factors, cavities and other internal problems can contribute to a tooth breaking as well. Cavities sometimes require root canals, especially if they are severe enough to cause tooth breakage. Seeing a dental professional early will ensure that you receive the proper treatment for your condition.
Knocked-Out Teeth: To save a tooth that has been knocked out, bring the tooth to your oral surgeon as soon as possible. Oral surgeons are specifically trained to treat traumatic facial injuries and restore missing teeth, and seeing an oral surgeon will give you the best chance at saving your natural tooth. An oral surgeon will also be able to ensure that your surrounding facial muscles and tissues were not affected by the trauma.
To best preserve the tooth, make sure you hold the tooth by the chewing edge (crown) only. Do not wipe off the tooth, as the tissues attached to the tooth can be important for replacement. Place the tooth in a container with some whole milk or saliva to preserve your tooth on your way to the dental office. Do NOT try to clean the tooth yourself using any sort of alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
To control the bleeding, bite down on gauze, replacing the gauze every 10-15 minutes until bleeding subsides. If your facial trauma injury is severe, you may need surgery to maintain the function and aesthetics of your face. Our surgeons are experts in the placement of dental implants, which are the best and most permanent solution for tooth replacements when the natural tooth cannot be saved.
We hope you won’t need to use these tips, but it’s always good to be prepared. If you have suffered a facial trauma, contact our office, and we will schedule your appointment as soon as possible (usually the day you call). Our surgeons specialize in dental & facial restoration cases of all kinds, so please feel free to contact us for your oral surgery needs.