Sudden impacts due to accidents & injuries are unpredictable. We never know what awaits us the next minute. So what happens when a permanent tooth is knocked out in such accidents? What to do next? How do we care for us or our dear ones?
When a permanent tooth is knocked out, don’t panic. If a hospital is very nearby get your first aid done immediately. If not what has to be done first is to control the bleeding. Mouth is one part of the body which is very rich in blood supply. So it’s normal to see profuse bleeding occurring from inside the mouth on an injury.
First make sure the victim is in a safe state. Remove any dentures if any from inside the mouth. Control the bleeding by applying firm and gentle pressure to the area of injury with a neat cloth or gauze for about 1-2 mins. Once the bleeding stops, look for the place, from where the tooth has been knocked out. The tooth and the space should not be dirty. If possible clean up with a few drops of water by holding the tooth crown, and then place it inside the socket. The tooth has to be aligned and properly re-implanted. If doubtful can look at the adjacent tooth to have an idea of placement. Once placed in space, a moist gauze or cloth can be kept and patient can be asked to bite and hold it against his opposing tooth. It’s usually the upper front or lower tooth that gets knocked off during injuries.
If unable to place the tooth inside the space from where it fell down, the next possibility is to suggest the patient to hold the tooth in place between his lip and cheek. This can be done only if the patient is completely conscious and oriented. If not, don’t attempt this. Instead the tooth can be placed in a proper medium like saliva or salt water or milk and taken along with the patient to the nearest emergency centre at the hospital. Whatever you do, the tooth should remain moist and should not be let to dry out.
The earlier the patient is given an emergency splinting to hold the tooth into the socket, the better is the possibility of it being re-implanted. Following that a root canal treatment will have to be done on that tooth.Usually best results are obtained if emergency care is provided within 5-7 mins. So don’t worry if a tooth is avulsed out of the socket, if taken care of properly and re-implanted as stated above, results are good.