The American Dental Association endorses first aid kits which contain saline solutions which can be used to clean and transport a tooth. But when these are not readily at hand, the patient should rinse the tooth off with milk or saltwater, and then put it back in its socket. (A tooth from the upper jaw can be held in place by biting on gauze.) The tooth should only be held by the crown and the patient should take care not to scrub at the root. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, the patients should hold it in their cheek or move it in a container filled with milk or saltwater (not freshwater).
A tooth’s chances of being saved are greatest if treated by a dentist within an hour. However, since a lost tooth is not life-threatening, a patient should call an ambulance or go to the emergency room if they have suffered severe bleeding. Furthermore, a lost implant cannot be saved, and a lost baby tooth should not be because doing so could cause problems for the permanent tooth which is supposed to replace it. When a baby tooth is lost too soon, a child can be given an orthodontic device to keep the space open until the permanent tooth erupts.
Drs. Matthew Garrison and Anna Jones operate at Garrison Family Dentistry, 14790 N. 169 Highway, Smithville, Missouri, 64089. To schedule an appointment, call 816-532-8778 or visit GarrisonDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.