Approximately 2.3 billion people in the world have tooth decay or damage. Tooth decay is one of the leading reasons people lose teeth, but mouth trauma is increasingly a concern. People who play sports or engage in vigorous activities are at a higher risk of losing a tooth.
You do not have to lose a knocked out tooth, however. Read on to learn the steps to take when you lose a tooth.
What to Do When You Lose a Tooth: Find It
You need to find the knocked out tooth and grab it without touching the root. Handle only the top part, the crown, to prevent further damage. Rinse it with milk, saline solution, or water to remove dirt from the root. Make sure you do not scrub or wipe it and do not remove any attached tissue fragments.
Never use chemicals or soap on the tooth.
Put It Back in Place
Carefully place the tooth back into its socket and prevent it from moving around by biting down on a piece of gauze or another soft fabric. Don’t force it down and make sure it is facing the right way.
If putting the tooth back in place is not possible, place it in a small container with milk. Avoid water, since it will not preserve the tooth. If you do not have milk available, place the tooth between your cheeks and gums.
Go to the Dentist
Knocked-out teeth have the greatest chance of surviving if a dentist re-inserts them within an hour. If you do not have access to a dentist, go to the emergency room with the tooth.
Solutions for Tooth Loss
If the tooth cannot be saved, there are other solutions your dentist will suggest.
Dental implants are an option. Dental implants are artificial roots that replace your tooth’s natural roots. They can be used together with dental crowns for tooth replacement or inserted into dental bridges to stabilize them. Dental implants have a high success rate and they can mimic the structure and look of your natural teeth.
Dental crowns are a good choice if you only need to replace one tooth, and dental bridges work best if you need to replace a number of them. The procedure is a bit longer and more complex, so expect at least two appointments.
Dentures can be another excellent option if you have suffered multiple tooth losses or if you have lost gum tissue.
Keep Your Smile at Its Best
If you lose a tooth, acting quickly is the best chance of having it re-inserted, but if that is not a possibility or the tooth is too damaged, options like dental implants can help you regain your smile. Don’t let tooth decay or mouth trauma affect your life when you can get help.
If you want to know more about tackling medical emergencies, turn to our Health page!