It can be a very frightening thing to realize that a tooth has been knocked out, or avulsed. This is truly a dental emergency. It is however possible to save an adult tooth that has been avulsed if you act quickly. A dental emergency appointment should be scheduled immediately, and the visit should ideally be within an hour from the time of the tooth avulsion. This is because the faster that an avulsed tooth is re-implanted into the bone, the higher the probability of success.
If you feel comfortable trying to re-insert the tooth into its socket yourself you can try, but even if you are successful you will still need to visit a Santa Clara area dentist for dental emergency treatment. Many people would prefer to have a dental professional re-insert the tooth. Dr. Bhawna Gupta has been serving the Santa Clara community for over 20 years, and has extended hours and appointment times available for patients experiencing a dental emergency.
The avulsed tooth may be stored in saline, or milk, or water to maintain its moisture while waiting to be seen by the dentist. Only hold the tooth by the crown portion to avoid damaging the delicate root.
A splint is needed to stabilize a tooth that has been re-implanted so hopefully over time it will reattach itself to the bone. This is made from wire and dental composite filling material. Your Santa Clara area dentist will most likely restore any lost filling or crowns on any of the neighboring teeth that might also have been impacted during the same accident. Your dentist will instruct you not to bite on the splinted tooth. It is very important not to disturb it while it is healing. He or she will periodically monitor the tooth to assess the healing and provide additional treatment if necessary.
In almost in every case, a tooth that has successfully re-integrated with the bone will require root canal therapy due to the damage to the blood vessels and nerve that occurs when a tooth is knocked out. In many cases the final step would be to make and cement a crown over the tooth to give it more protection. A crown can be made to match the rest of your teeth.
Avulsed teeth may occur more frequently with children and with those who are athletic and play sports. A dentist near Santa Clara can make an appliance for you or order one from a dental laboratory for you to wear while participating in sports. A mouth guard will provide protection against trauma caused by an unexpected fall or hit in the mouth. They are normally made out of hard acrylic or plastic and are sometimes available in a variety of colors.
Periodontal disease may also cause teeth to become loose and fall out. Also, it goes without saying periodontally involved teeth are more prone to avulsion. Practicing good oral hygiene and preventing gingivitis and gum disease involves thoroughly cleaning all of the tooth surfaces three times a day, and includes using dental floss to clean the area in between the teeth. The infection present in the teeth, bone and gums of patients suffering from periodontal disease is treated with deep cleanings or gum surgery. Once the periodontal disease is under control, maintenance is important. Your dental hygienist of dentist can demonstrate and instruct you in how to use dental hygiene tools.