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How you can safely and effectively navigate dental trauma

Posted .

two people sitting at a table with a model of a tooth

Taking good daily care of your teeth is important to maintaining a healthy smile. Unfortunately, accidents can happen at any time. What if you take a fall and accidentally break a tooth?

We encourage you to find the broken piece and keep it safe! You can easily do this by placing it in a small container with milk or your saliva if you can’t get to the milk. Once the tooth is safely contained, the next step you will want to do is to come in to see our dentist right away.

Dental emergencies happen, and when it comes to a lost tooth, timing is everything. With prompt attention, our team can do everything possible to give you the care your mouth needs. Immediate action is often the key to successful care. But what if you aren’t able to find the broken-off piece of your tooth? If your lip is bleeding, swollen and sore you might actually have the chipped piece stuck in your lip. If that is the case, you’ll also want to reach our dentist as quickly as possible. We may take a dental X-ray to locate the tooth segment so we can take it out and ensure that you don’t end up with an infection.

But what if your whole tooth is knocked out (or avulsed)? In this case, you’ll want to locate the tooth, carefully wipe it to get rid of debris, without touching the root tip. Next, put it back into the tooth’s socket. Then get to our orthodontist can but on brackets to hold the tooth in place. Again, timing is of the essence, getting it back to its original position in the socket within 30 minutes can allow us to help you save the tooth. The clock will literally be ticking, however, and if you wait longer than 30 mins, you might have to replace the tooth entirely, whether it be a dental implant, dental bridge or denture.

Note: if your child has lost a baby tooth, don’t try placing it into the socket.  Instead, give us a call and we will advise you further.  

While accidents can happen at any time when you least expect them, you can still take preventative measures to lessen the possibility. If your child (or you) participate in contact sports or recreational activities, you can invest in a proper athletic mouthguard that will shield teeth and soft oral tissues from damage. This simple step can be a tooth lifesaver!

Our Dentistry and Braces Group is here to help you and your family have healthy, beautiful smiles! If you have questions or concerns about a dental emergency, call one of our offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts or New Hampshire at a location nearest you.