You managed to pop loose a tooth. Perhaps you were playing a sport or had an accident and your tooth is now in your hand. What do you do? First of all, realize that your Sacramento dentist, Dr. Brian Steele, and his staff are ready to help you replace and repair the tooth at any time during our regular hours, Monday through Friday. Come straight to our office at 1105 E Street in downtown Sacramento and you go to the “front of the line.” Call ahead 916-538-6900 and we will be ready and waiting for you.
Do Not Delay
When a tooth gets knocked out, time is of the essence. “The critical period is an hour.” says dentist and American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Kimberly Harms. A Minnesota dentist, Harms likely sees her fair share of teeth knocked free by hockey sticks. “The longer the tooth is out, the less chance of having a successful implantation.”
Clean the Tooth Gently
Clean the tooth with water or another pH neutral substance like milk. If neither are available, just use saliva, perhaps by sucking off the dirt. Yes, that sounds disgusting, but it removes some of the grime and bacteria your tooth has just contacted and increases the likelihood of safely replacing the tooth. Do not scrub or wipe the tooth, as you may damage the tooth itself. Hold it by the crown (the part you chew with), not the root.
Now What Do I Do With It?
Keeping the tooth in milk is not the best place for it. A tooth belongs in your mouth. If possible, reinsert the tooth into the hole it came from. Make sure you don’t put it in backwards! You should be able to bite down on it gently and feel that it is level with the other teeth. A tea bag or wet rag can help keep it in place. A cold compress applied to your cheek also cuts down on swelling.
If you can’t get the tooth into its socket, keep it between your cheek and gum. That’s the environment your tooth is used to and will keep it moist — an important consideration. Head to the dentist immediately. Some people go to a hospital emergency room, but remember that you need a dentist! The emergency room should only be considered when a dentist is not available. Even so, the emergency doctor will probably just contact a dentist to help you.
Success is Possible
We can successfully implant a knocked out tooth. The only exception would be baby teeth. If these are popped out early, it is generally best to just let the adult tooth come in as the natural replacement. Broken teeth will need extraction, root canal or repair, depending on the location of the break. Either way, emergency dental service is available from the Sacramento Dentistry Group. Dr. Marjorie Castro is very skilled in dealing with broken teeth. She literally “wrote the book” on this type of work for dentists in her native Colombia. Therefore, when you lose a tooth, know that we are ready and able to put that tooth back in your mouth!