Dental injuries can happen often – playing sport, around the home, or out and about. It’s important to know what to do – if your teeth or mouth gets knocked, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Dental injuries can take many forms, from small to large chipping of the tooth, pushing or loosening the teeth, or the teeth being knocked out. At Collins Street Smiles, we are equipped to deal with most dental emergencies.
Knocked out teeth: The first aid for your teeth depends if they are baby, or adult teeth:
- Do not put a baby tooth back in if it has been knocked out. If you’re unsure if it’s an adult or baby tooth, store in milk or saliva and see your dentist as soon as possible.
- Seek an appointment with a dentist immediately. Take the tooth with you so the dentist can assess if the whole tooth or just a part of it has fallen out.
- Your dentist will check the tooth in question and often the teeth surrounding it. Follow-up appointments are often required.
- Attend your regular check-ups so your dentist can monitor the development of the adult teeth.
- If an adult tooth has been knocked out, pick it up by the crown (the whiter part).
- If the tooth is dirty, rinse the tooth in milk. If milk is not available, rinse with tap water, but only for a second or two. Exposing or soaking the tooth in water can “burst” the cells on the root – do not store the tooth in tap water!
- Gently insert the tooth into its previous position in the mouth, ensuring it is positioned the right way around. Check the surrounding teeth to make sure it’s in the right place. Gently bite on a piece of clean soft cloth or tissue to hold the tooth in place. If you can’t get the tooth back in, don’t force it. Store it in milk or saliva and see your dentist ASAP, ideally within 30 minutes.
- See your dentist immediately. The sooner the tooth is replaced, the more likely it is to survive. After-hours dentists and hospitals are open to treat dental emergencies. The Royal Dental Hospital Of Melbourne is one after-hours service available to all patients.
- Adult teeth that have been knocked out will require close follow-up and monitoring.
Chipped, broken, and loosened teeth:
Teeth can be chipped, broken, or moved about when they are injured. Again, it’s important to see the dentist as soon as possible so the tooth can be repaired and comprehensively checked. Our dentists will be able to advise on what treatment and follow-up a tooth needs.