If you just lost a tooth, contact an oral surgeon right away for an emergency appointment. Time is of the essence when it comes to knocked-out or avulsed teeth, so if the office isn’t open, head to an after-hours dentist or the hospital.
Why Acting Quickly Is Essential
The moment a tooth is lost, the clock starts ticking. With every passing minute, the possibility of saving the knocked-out tooth becomes less likely. After about an hour, even an expert oral surgeon stands almost no chance of successful reimplantation.
How to Handle the Knocked-Out Tooth
To preserve a lost tooth for reimplantation by an oral surgeon, handle it with care. Experts recommend the following steps:
- Touch only the crown — not the root — and gently rinse off any dirt with water.
- Place the knocked-out tooth back in the empty socket, in your cheek or in a container of cold milk.
- Use sterile gauze to control bleeding and hold an ice pack to your cheek to keep the swelling down
- If needed, take ibuprofen, acetaminophen or another over-the-counter pain reliever.
Why Seeing an Oral Surgeon Is in Your Best Interest
You might think going to a dentist or the emergency room is the right way to deal with a lost tooth, but if you have the option, visit an oral surgeon instead.
With expertise in tooth restoration as well as oral and maxillofacial surgery, an oral surgeon can reimplant knocked-out teeth and treat any surrounding facial tissues affected by the trauma.
What to Do if the Lost Tooth Cannot Be Saved
Getting immediate professional attention and handling the tooth properly ensures better odds of successful reimplantation. But sometimes, knocked-out teeth are beyond saving. If that’s the case for you, replacing the tooth with a dental implant is the optimal approach.
Dental implants are nearly indistinguishable from natural teeth in their fit, feel and function. Plus, because of their placement within the jaw, implants help prevent the bone degeneration that occurs when teeth are lost. Bridges simply don’t compare — they look and feel artificial, and with a bridge, jawbone density diminishes over time.
If you’re in the greater Salt Lake City area and need expert care for a lost tooth, contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah immediately. Our professional team will make every effort to see you as soon as possible, and we’ll do whatever we can to save the tooth.
In the event that isn’t possible, we can explain your tooth restoration options and expertly fill the gap in your grin. You’ll be in good hands at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah — contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office and schedule an oral surgeon consultation for your lost tooth now.