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When your tooth pops out!


Date :14/05/2015

FUNNY as it may sound, there are chances that an entire tooth could pop out of its socket in the mouth as a result of a fall or other accidental means.

Well, the good news is that you could have it back in place in your mouth if your’re able to preserved it well and transport it safely to your dentist within a stipulated time period. Such an injury is termed ‘avulsion’ and is three times more frequent in bys than in girls and occurs most commonly in children 7 to 11 years of age.

Quite often an avulsion injury involves only a single tooth, which is mostly the central incisor (front tooth) of the upper jaw in both the primary (milk teeth) and the permanent sets. Avulsion, however, should not be mistaken for the exfoliation process in children where milk teeth fall off to make place for the permanent teeth or for

periodontitis in adult where in extreme cases as a result of bne loss, teeth fall out due to loss of support.

Immediate action

Teeth replanted within 30 minutes after the avulsion showed better retention than those replanted more than 2 hours after the injury. If the avulsion has occurred in a clean environment, the parent can replace it in the socket immediately and hold it in place with light finger pressure while the patient is brought to the dental office. If the tooth is dirty, an attempt should be made to clean it, but it is very important to preserve any remnants of the supporting tissues that are still attached to the root.

The best way to clean the tooth is by gently washing it with milk; tap water and chemical agents are not recommended. The tooth must be kept moist during the trip to the dental office and could milk or the patient’s own saliva are the best storage media. A sterile cotton pellet may be placed over the socket and the patient is asked to bite with to control bleeding if any.

At the dental office

The dentist examines the socket and once he confirms that there is no fracture of soft tissue injury and the tooth is intact, he replants the tooth immediately. If he parent has already replanted it like mentioned before, he proceeds with stabilising the tooth with a splint wherein supports of the neigh bouring teeth are taken to immobilise it. Stabilisation for replanted teeth is required for seven to 14 days. The patient is advised not to bite directly on the replanted tooth for three to seven weeks after the injury and gradually to begin using it normally.

All replanted permanent teeth have to undergo root canal treatment, which is begun two to three weeks after the injury and before the splint is removed. The dentist will decide the treatment agenda depending on the age, amount of root formtion and presence of adjacent unerupted teeth in the patient. Just like you would put back a cap that has fallen off your head, with a little knowledge and presence of mind, you can put back your tooth and smile!

The author is dental surgeon and can be contacted at ALL SMILES DENTAL CLINIC, 26673439, 9845085230.

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