Saving Your Tooth After an Accident: Your First Steps Are Key

A dental emergency is something no one ever wants to experience, but the reality is that they occur, usually when you’re least prepared. The good news is that a tooth that’s been injured or knocked out can usually be saved if you take the correct first steps after the accident.

Dr. Juan M. Carrillo and our team of skilled professionals at Soothing Dental Care understand the decisive action that must be taken during a dental emergency. Our compassionate and caring team is made up of the most qualified emergency dentists in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Carrillo and his staff offer immediate attention to replace or restore a tooth with same-day appointments.

What should I do first?

If you’ve had an accident that’s left you with a broken or missing tooth, this is considered a dental emergency. First, try to stay as calm as possible, so that you can take the proper steps to save your tooth.

My tooth is broken

You might end up with a chipped or broken tooth as the result of a sports accident or taking a tumble. Sometimes these dental injuries happen and you may not even notice until later, when you experience tooth pain and sensitivity. However, if you notice right away that your tooth has become chipped or broken, look for the missing piece or pieces. 

Gently pick up the piece and, if possible, rinse away any dirt or debris under lukewarm water for 10 seconds or less. Then either put the piece of the tooth between your cheek and gum to prevent it from drying out, or put it in a clean container and cover it with whole milk. Whole milk is recommended because its chemical makeup is similar to that of teeth. Call our emergency dentistry offices next to see Dr. Carrillo right away.

My tooth is knocked out

If your tooth is knocked out of its socket, it can still be saved and even reimplanted. Remember to remain calm and find the tooth first. It’s crucial that you handle the tooth very carefully, because any additional damage may prevent Dr. Carrillo from being able to reimplant it. If you’re able to, pick up the tooth by the portion that does not contain the root. It’s possible to cause permanent damage to the roots if you handle it incorrectly. 

If the tooth has any dirt or debris on it, rinse it gently under lukewarm water for 10 seconds. Don’t rub it or use any items or products to clean it. You’ll also need to rinse your mouth gently with water. The best step after that is placing the knocked-out tooth back into its socket. If there’s still some blood, that’s OK. You can gently bite down on a gauze pad to keep the knocked-out tooth where it belongs until you get to our office. 

If you’re unable to place the missing tooth in its socket, place it carefully in a clean container and cover it with milk. Also, holding it in your mouth between your cheek and gum is acceptable. Remember not to touch the tooth by the root end, where damage can occur. The quicker you call Dr. Carrillo’s office to reimplant the missing tooth, the more likely it is that it can be successfully saved. 

The clock is ticking once you’ve got a damaged or missing tooth. Call our office right away at 804-201-9459 to make an emergency appointment.

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