Endodontist Michael Hartnett on accidental tooth loss: Avulsion of permanent teeth is a very serious dental injury. This is where the tooth is completely knocked out of the mouth in an accident. Typical examples of such accidents would be where the child falls off their bike, hits their mouth on a trampoline, or bangs against another child’s head at school. The long-term future for the knocked-out tooth will depend on the actions that are taken at the time of the accident. IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH Stay calm. Act as quickly as possible. Hold the tooth by the crown only (try not to touch the root as there are fibres on the root that need to be preserved).
Gently push the root into the socket where it has come from using the adjacent teeth as a guide.
Close the teeth together or bite on some tissue and go to your dentist immediately.
If the tooth is dirty when knocked out you can clean with saliva (lick it) or wash the root gently and quickly under water (without touching the root if possible)
If you are unable to replant the tooth then place the tooth in milk and go to your dentist immediately. The best chance for long-term survival of the tooth is to replant the tooth immediately (ideally within five minutes).
Never replant a baby tooth. DENTIST
Your dentist will ensure that the tooth is in the correct position.
The tooth will be splinted to the adjacent teeth to stabilise the tooth, which can last for up to two weeks.
Antibiotics and tetanus protection may be required at this time.
Root canal treatment will be started on the tooth after seven to ten days and will generally be completed within one month.
The patient should avoid contact sport for three to four weeks afterward.
A soft diet is advised for two weeks and the teeth should be brushed with a soft toothbrush after every meal. Complications can develop if the knocked out tooth is out of the mouth for more than 30 minutes before it is put back in. The tooth can become fixed in position and as the child develops the tooth will appear to be shorter than the adjacent teeth. Management of such situations will require different dental specialists. INSURANCE Insurance schemes are available through the school which either cover only school activities or a 24-hour cover (preferable). After an accident, the insurance company will pay the insured expenses which are not recoverable from any other source until the need for care has ceased (this will be subject to a policy limit up to €50,000).