What to Do When You Break or Lose a Tooth
Pikes Peak • Sep 15 2021
You need your teeth to complete day-to-day tasks like speaking and eating, and it can be very stressful to break or lose your adult teeth. Many things can cause broken or lost teeth, from traumatic facial injuries to oral pathologies. Although your dentist can handle many tooth injuries, some serious tooth and facial injuries are best treated by oral surgeons. In fact, most hospitals often have oral surgeons on call to treat emergency facial trauma cases.
All of us at Pikes Peak Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center know that tooth injuries can be extremely frightening, so we want to share some information to help you prepare for a broken tooth. These tips can help you improve the chances of saving your natural tooth if you lose or break one. If a tooth cannot be saved, Dr. Michael Kunkel will be happy to discuss your options regarding replacement of broken or lost teeth with the use of dental implants and other restorative techniques.
For Broken Teeth:
See your oral surgeon or dentist as soon as possible. If you experience bleeding, you may gently swish with water, then bite on gauze. If you have pain or swelling, apply a bag of ice or frozen veggies wrapped in a towel to the side of your face.
Sometimes teeth break because of internal factors, like old cracks or cavities. More severe cavities may require extra procedures to repair. Dental professionals can evaluate your specific situation and treat you accordingly, so be sure to go in as soon as possible if you crack or break a tooth.
For Knocked-Out Teeth (Avulsed Teeth):
Try to bring the tooth to your oral surgeon within a half an hour of it coming out. After 30 minutes, the chances of saving the tooth decrease significantly. You might need to go to a hospital if your injury was severe. Oral surgeons are experts in saving an avulsed tooth, as well as the treatment of other facial injuries, so your surgeon can assess the tooth while also evaluating other facial structures to ensure there was no additional damage.
Never hold the root of the tooth—only hold the white, biting side. If the tooth falls on the ground, you may gently remove any debris, but don’t scrub or excessively clean the tooth, because the connected tissues can be crucial for reattachment. Also, never use cleaners like soap, alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide to try to sanitize the tooth. If you can safely and easily push the tooth back into the socket, this gives the tooth the best chance of survival. If not, save the tooth in a container with some whole milk or saliva to preserve it and bring it into the dental office.
Bite down on gauze to slow bleeding. Serious face and mouth injuries may require surgery to repair the function and aesthetics of your face. When knocked-out teeth cannot be restored, dental implants can be used to replace the missing teeth. Dental implants are the best functional and aesthetic option to restore oral function and your smile for years to come.
We hope these tips will help you if you ever break or lose a tooth. If you experience a facial trauma injury, contact our office, and we will schedule your appointment as soon as possible (usually the day you call). Our surgeon specializes in facial injuries and tooth restoration through dental implants, so feel free to contact us for your oral health needs.