What to Do When You’ve Lost a Tooth

Tooth LossLosing a tooth back in childhood seemed like a trivial occurrence and not an emergency. After all, it’s common knowledge that lost baby teeth will grow again and be replaced by permanent teeth. As an adult, however, you may be alarmed to find out that you've lost a tooth — or even several teeth — due to an accident.

Causes of Loss

If you're active in sports, an elbow to the face during a game can knock out your tooth. Falling badly on the sidewalk or down a staircase and being involved in a fistfight or a vehicular accident are also some instances that put your teeth at risk of knocking off.

Dental professionals call knocked-out teeth "avulsed," and they consider avulsions as an emergency. When you lost a tooth or several teeth, Glenlake Dental Care noted that your dentist might recommend implant treatment in their Northbrook, IL clinic right away. This is to save your jawbone from shrinking and your remaining teeth from moving due to the gap. Before rushing to your dentist, however, you have to find your lost tooth first since it's still possible to put it back.

What to Do

When you find your lost tooth, pick it up only by its crown to avoid damaging the root. You can use milk or water to clean it up, but do not scrub, rub, or touch it. You can try to slip it back in place, but don’t force the tooth in. Alternately, keep the tooth moist by placing it inside a cup of milk or between your cheeks and gums.

As you arrive at your dentist's clinic, reimplantation will depend on the damage to your tooth, gums, and bone. They will give you a local anesthetic before reinserting the tooth into your socket. They will splint the tooth to your adjacent teeth, so it's stable until the bone around it has healed completely. Splinting can be from two to eight weeks, so it's best to ask your dentist some after-care tips.

As long as you move quickly and get to a dentist as soon as possible, you can still save your knocked-out tooth. If not, ask your dentist for the best possible solution.