Your teeth are crucial for smiling, chewing food, and maintaining your oral health, which is why it can be scary to break or lose one of your permanent teeth. Oral diseases, accidental falls, biting down on hard foods or objects, and other accidents can all cause damage or loss of teeth. While dentists can treat many tooth injuries, they often refer to oral surgeons for severe mouth injuries, because oral surgeons have extensive training in treating facial injuries and restoring teeth. In fact, in addition to having their own practices, many oral surgeons work at major hospitals to treat serious facial trauma injuries.
Our team at Northern Westchester Oral Surgery understands that facial and tooth injuries are traumatic, which is why we’ve listed a few steps to help you know what to do if you experience a tooth injury. If you lose or damage an adult tooth, we will do everything we can to restore your natural tooth. Once all other options are exhausted, we have many dental implant options to replace lost teeth permanently. If one of your teeth is broken or knocked out, follow these instructions to improve the chances of saving your tooth with minimal discomfort.
If You Break a Tooth: The first thing you should do is call your oral surgeon or dentist. On your way to the office, try to stop any bleeding by biting on gauze or a damp tea bag, changing the gauze every 10 minutes or when it’s saturated. You can also use an ice pack or over-the-counter pain relievers to help alleviate any swelling or pain.
Teeth generally break because of impacts or pressure, but poor oral hygiene can also be a factor. Cavities can cause breakage if left untreated. Always be sure to see a dental professional at the first sign of problems to receive proper treatment and avoid future issues.
If Your Tooth is Completely Knocked Out: Try to preserve the tooth so your oral surgeon can restore it. Make sure you don’t hold the tooth by the root or wipe off the tooth, as the tissues attached to the root are important for replacement. Do NOT try to sanitize the tooth yourself using any sort of soap, alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide. Instead, submerge the tooth in a container of whole milk or saliva to preserve it on your way to the dental office.
Oral surgeons are specifically trained to restore teeth and treat traumatic facial injuries; following these steps and seeing your oral surgeon within 30 minutes will give you the best chance of saving your natural tooth. If your trauma was severe, an oral surgeon will be able to examine and treat the surrounding facial bones and soft tissues as well.
In the case that your tooth cannot be saved, our practice offers dental implant placements and other restorative options. Dental implants are the best permanent solution to tooth loss, and they look and feel just like your natural tooth.
We hope you won’t need to use these instructions, but it’s always good to be prepared should any issues arise. If you contact our office regarding a facial trauma, we will usually see you right away. Our oral surgeon, Dr. Zachary Weber, specializes in facial trauma cases and tooth restorations of all kinds, so please feel free to contact us for your oral health needs.