Treating dental trauma
Sporting and leisure-time accidents are a prime cause of teeth being loosened or knocked out. If this happens, you should consult a specialist without delay.
Broken-off teeth can only be ‘stuck back on’ in exceptional cases. Usually, they must be reconstructed by a dentist or even in some cases even removed and replaced. Only teeth a complete tooth but not a tooth fragment can be re-inserted in the jawbone.
Knocked-out teeth, should be kept in liquid: special ‘tooth rescue boxes’ are available for this purpose. Alternatively, teeth can be kept in an isotonic solution or in milk. The oral cavity is not a suitable place to keep them. Leave the cleaning of knocked-out teeth to a specialist, as improper handling may greatly lessen the chances of successful reimplantation.
Knocked-out teeth should be reimplanted in as soon as possible. The window of opportunity is six hours; this should not be exceeded, as the longer the tooth is out of the mouth, the poorer the prognosis for its survival.
Before such teeth are reimplanted, a clinical and radiological examination should take place to establish the extent of the damage and identify possible fractures.
In general, the tooth/teeth and any soft-tissue injuries are treated under local anaesthesia. Such treatment can also be carried out under sedation.
Once they have been set in the right position, the affected teeth are immobilized by splinting them to adjacent teeth. This splint is left in place for approx 2 weeks. In most cases, knocked-out teeth will have to subsequently undergo endodontic treatment at some stage.
The teeth will need regular check-ups during the first year after the accident.
We will be happy to advise you on ways of restoring chewing function following tooth loss.