Everyone has an experience with baby teeth that become loose and fall out one by one when we’re children. But once those permanent teeth come in, we hope they stay in place. Unfortunately, permanent teeth can become loose and even fall out. A knocked out permanent tooth is called an avulsed tooth, and it’s one of the most serious dental emergencies we encounter. It may feel extremely scary if your permanent tooth is loose or falls out, but this issue is more common than you might think.
Poor oral hygiene, extensive tooth decay, oral diseases and trauma or injury can all lead you to the dentist office with a dislodged tooth. In fact, the first thing you should do in this emergency situation is call your dentist. However, if you have to wait for an appointment, there are a few things you can do.
Where Should I Go — the Emergency Room or the Dentist?
If you suffer a severe trauma or injury that leads to a permanent tooth becoming loose or falling out, you may be whisked to the emergency room. But an avulsed tooth is considered a dental emergency, and regular hospitals may be unequipped to re-implant your lost tooth. That’s why, if at all possible, you should go straight to your dentist when permanent teeth are loose or fall out.
What to Do Before Your Dental Appointment
Putting your permanent tooth back in place can be simple. However, if the tooth or bone is broken, that complicates matters. Thankfully, a tooth that’s knocked out or loose can be saved. With some quick thinking on your part, you can keep your tooth safe. Follow these steps:
- Act quickly: If you can get to the dentist within 30 minutes of your tooth becoming loose or falling out, you’ll increase its viability. But even if it’s been outside the mouth for over an hour, it may still be able to be saved.
- Touch only the crown: If the tooth falls out, don’t touch the root. Only touch the chewing surface, also called the crown.
- Rinse with water: Using water, gently rinse any debris or dirt off the tooth. There’s no need for soap or other cleaning agents, and don’t scrub it.
- Place it back into the socket: If possible, put the tooth back where it goes. You can hold it by the crown and place it in the socket. Once it’s in, hold it there, or gently bite down on it to keep it in place.
- Keep it moist: Whether it’s in your mouth or not, keep the tooth moist. This step can be done by placing it in milk or holding it inside your mouth, next to your cheek. Don’t keep it in regular tap water.
Contact Dental Choice for Urgent Dental Care
Whether your permanent tooth is loose or has fallen out completely, this dental emergency requires immediate intervention from a qualified dental professional. Dental Choice has locations in Calgary and Edmonton that are equipped to handle these urgent care situations. Most of our dentists leave openings in their schedule for emergency situations like these, and many of our offices have evening and weekend hours. Even if our office is closed, be sure to call and follow the instructions on our voicemail or call our emergency phone number. Contact us today for any urgent dental assistance.