Adult teeth are usually lost for one of two reasons: trauma or decay. If your tooth has fallen out because it is rotten, then it is highly unlikely that your dentist will be able to save it. You should visit your dental practitioner, however, since there may be part of the root of your tooth still left in your gum. This could be a base that you can fit a crown to to replace the missing part of the tooth, but it will need to be assessed first. If your tooth has been knocked out, on the other hand, then it could be a salvageable situation. What should you do if you have suffered such a trauma?
Find Your Tooth
Your dentist will only be able to save your tooth if you can find it. Many people who suffer a blow to their jawbone will find that their tooth is knocked free from the gum and into their mouth. This can mean that it is easy to swallow, especially after the shock of such an incident. If this occurs, then the tooth cannot be saved. Equally, teeth that fall out of the mouth after a traumatic incident can be lost all too easily. If possible, locate yours on the ground without stepping on it. Knocked-out teeth are delicate and need to be handled with care.
Pick Your Tooth Up
Once you have located your lost tooth, pick it up so that you can clean it. If possible, avoid using your hand for this part of the process. A handkerchief made from cotton would be ideal, but if you don't have one available, use a paper tissue or a clean cloth. Don't squeeze your tooth as you handle it, but maintain a light touch.
Clean Your Tooth and Replace It
If your tooth has been on the ground, then you should run it under a tap to clear off any grime that might have accumulated on it. Then, place it back into the hole in your gum from whence it came. Although it will be loose, this is the best place to have it until you can see an emergency dentist. The same applies if your tooth never left your mouth after it was knocked out. Work it back into the hole using your tongue. Once it's in, try not to talk, and avoid food so that it can remain as undisturbed as possible.
Visit Your Dentist
Time is of the essence with a lost tooth. If you want your dentist to have any chance of success saving it, then spend no longer than a few hours before you get to him or her. An emergency dentist should be able to prioritise seeing you in the case of a knocked-out tooth, which constitutes an emergency.
To learn more, contact an emergency dentist.