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A Guide to Avulsed Teeth

Many children and adults experience the loss of a tooth throughout their lives, with pearly whites being knocked out for a number of reasons. However, a high number of people are unaware of the appropriate course of action to take when a tooth is knocked out.

When a tooth becomes avulsed completely due to a sporting mishap or accidental injury, it is commonly as a result of a severe blow to the head. Therefore, it is vital to consider wider health issues that could emerge such as bleeding, disorientation or concussion.

 What is avulsion? 

Avulsion is the term used when a tooth has been knocked completely out of its setting, meaning it has either fallen out in its entirety or is hanging on by a nerve. It is important for patients not to confuse the issue with a tooth that has been dislodged but not completely knocked out. The treatment required for both of these ailments is slightly different and can provide individuals with an effective solution.

It is also important for parents to realise that adult teeth require different treatment than those of a child when avulsion takes place. This is because milk teeth are more likely to fall out to make way for their stronger, grown-up replacements.

Guardians should not, in any case, attempt to push the tooth back into its pocket due to the potential damage that could be caused to the adult tooth that is trying to come through underneath. Using tissue paper to stem any bleeding, as well as over-the-counter painkillers to numb the pain, is the best course of action that can be taken with children.

Can an avulsed tooth be replaced?

In many cases, an avulsed tooth can be replaced if patients seek treatment quickly enough. Although this can be an issue for those who lose a pearly white in the sports field or in an accident, it is vital to contact a local dental practice as soon as possible to increase the likelihood of a full recovery taking place.

Members of the public can take a number of basic actions in a bid to ensure the avulsed tooth has the best possible chance of being saved:

  1. If the tooth is shattered or fragmented as a result of the accident, it can often be extremely difficult to put back in place. However, most dental professionals will recommend that patients try to keep all the shards if possible.
  2. Those individuals whose tooth remains in one piece because it has been knocked out cleanly should seek emergency dentistry within one hour. Although this may be difficult for many people, it can be the difference between restoring a pearly white or losing it forever.
  3. Ensuring the root of the tooth does not become damaged or infected by holding it at the crown is another method of increasing the chances of a full recovery being made.
  4. In addition, although it may seem tempting to pull a tooth out that is hanging on a nerve, it is vital for patients to resist [the urge] and get to a dental clinic as quickly as possible. Those that do remain fixed to a nerve are often more likely to be successfully replanted.
  5. If a tooth is avulsed, placing it back into its socket gently ensures it is kept in its ideal environment until it can be treated. Placing a piece of cotton over the loose tooth and biting down will keep it in place until an emergency dentist has been consulted.
  6. If a patient’s face becomes swollen or the gums are damaged as a result of the injury, loose teeth should be carried in a cup of milk to help them remain as healthy as possible. Alternatively, holding it on the inside of the cheek means it is still soaked in saliva and in its rightful environment.

Using cotton wool to ease the bleeding from an open socket can be the perfect solution for individuals who did not expect too much blood. With every tooth having its own blood supply, a large quantity could emerge from the wound. However, it is important for individuals to realise that this is completely normal and panicking may make the situation worse.

What type of dental procedure is carried out?

If a member of the public with an avulsed tooth has acted quickly enough, the tooth may naturally re-implant itself into the gum. Although this depends on the extent of damage sustained as a result of the accident, it is possible for the tooth to root into place when pushed back into the socket.

Visiting a dentist immediately after a sporting injury or accident could be the difference between a simple or painful dental procedure. Initially, an emergency dentist will carry out X-rays on the tooth and cheek to ensure a tooth has been successfully placed back into the socket.

A splint may be attached to the tooth to keep it in the right position while the surrounding gums strengthen. This method sees the splint held to the teeth next to it to ensure it is not reattached crookedly. Although this is often uncomfortable to wear, patients will see the best possible results if they have patience with the treatment.

What if the treatment is unsuccessful?

If the treatment fails to successfully place the tooth back into position, patients could experience a loss of self esteem and limited self confidence due to their displeasure at having a space between their pearly whites. However, there are some courses of action that can be taken to provide a replacement following an accident.

The majority of emergency dentists advise against leaving a gap in between teeth following a mishap or injury due to the fact that it is not aesthetically pleasing. In addition, over time, this issue can negatively affect the balance of the bite and cause areas of the face to sag and make people appear older.

Therefore, many patients may find a solution by having a false tooth fitted. The wide array of options available to patients looking to replace missing teeth has increased significantly in recent years, each catering to the needs of the individual.

Removable dentures are one cost-effective solution that are easy to maintain due to the fact they can be taken out, while fixed dentures attach to the teeth on either side and act as a natural-looking replacement for a missing tooth.

Dental implants are becoming increasingly common among those people who lose their teeth following an injury. This solution can match the colour of the existing pearly whites, while allowing wearers to enjoy an improved quality of life.

What is a dental implant?

Dental implants provide a long-term and aesthetic solution for people who have lost their teeth due to injury or decay.

During this procedure, a root is fitted into the gum to fuse with the bone and provide a restoration to replace a tooth or group of teeth. They are often used to support a number of installations including crowns, implant-supported bridges and dentures, allowing patients to be safe in the knowledge their teeth remain in place.

The practice is open Seven days a week from 8am to 11pm for routine dentistry and we offer a 24 hour emergency dental walk-in service 365 days a year. You can book a consultation at any time by calling our reception team 24 hours a day on 0208 547 9997 or contact us during our working hours by email.

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