An avulsed tooth is one that has been knocked out.
A tooth can be knocked out for a number of reasons: often a blow to the mouth, or an accident involving the face. This can happen for example during contact sports. It is possible to replace the tooth in the socket successfully if the right action is taken as soon as possible.
Don’t panic. Get a clean handkerchief and fold it up, then hold it over the socket and bite down. Keep your jaws together to apply pressure. If you need something for the pain, don’t take any medication containing aspirin as this can encourage further bleeding. Do not apply clove oil to the wound.
Maybe. The complete tooth needs to be replaced in the socket as soon as possible, ideally in under 30 minutes. But teeth have been successfully replaced up to 60 minutes after being knocked out.
Avoid handling the root. If it is very dirty, rinse it with milk and wipe it with a clean cloth. Do not clean it with disinfectant or water or let it dry out.
Hold the tooth by the crown and put it back into the socket firmly, root first. Bite on a clean handkerchief for about 15-20 minutes.
It is not a good idea to try and put the tooth back into the socket if it is not complete. Contact your dental surgery as soon as possible and your dentist will tell you what options are available to restore the tooth. You may need dental x-rays to see if there is any root damage.
If you cannot find the tooth, you may have swallowed it. If you think you may have swallowed or inhaled it, you may need an x-ray to be sure of this.
Most dentists would not recommend re-implanting a baby tooth in case an infection damaged the adult tooth underneath. Contact your dentist as soon as possible for advice. They may need to examine the child to check if any fragments of tooth are still in the gum. There is no way of temporarily replacing a baby tooth, so the treatment is to wait for the adult tooth to come through.
It is important to get emergency dental treatment. If you are registered with a dentist, contact the dental practice as soon as possible and explain what has happened. If the incident has happened out of normal dental practice hours, you should still be able to contact your dentist for emergency treatment. Phone the practice number and you should be given information on when and where you will be treated. The dentist will then tell you what treatment will be needed.
Your dentist will assess the immediate situation and may treat any facial injury. However, treatment may be limited if there is any bruising or bleeding. They may take x-rays and will check if the tooth has re-implanted successfully. You will probably need more appointments for follow up treatment. If the tooth is lost or doesn’t implant successfully, it can be replaced at first with a denture. Then, when the socket has healed fully, you can have a bridge or dental implant.
You could wear a mouthguard – a rubber-like cover that fits over your teeth and protects you against a blow to the mouth. Your dentist can have one made for you by taking an impression of your teeth and sending it to a laboratory. The laboratory then makes the mouthguard so that it fits your mouth exactly. Mouthguards can be clear or coloured – for example in the colours of the team kit if you want to wear one while playing sport.
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