My daughter and I were eating at a fast food place that has one of those play areas. I didn’t see what happened, but a little boy came screaming out. His mouth was bleeding and he was holding a tooth. The mom sort of cleaned him up and then sent him back to play. I would have thought that would be a dental emergency. Am I overreacting?
A lot of it would depend on the age of the boy and what tooth was knocked out. Most children in those play areas are preschoolers, so I would assume he doesn’t have any adult teeth yet. If a baby tooth gets knocked out, it’s not necessarily a dental emergency, especially if the child is able to go back and play. However, it’s usually a good idea to follow up with a dentist and make sure there is no damage to the underlying adult tooth. If there is, early treatment can help.
Adult teeth are a different matter altogether. If they get knocked out it is a dental emergency. Every time. The dentist will need to re-implant your tooth as quickly as possible. Ideally, within 30 minutes. Grab the tooth from the crown (the part that shows above your gums). You’ll want to keep it as moist as possible. If you have milk available, place it in a cup of milk. Otherwise, you may have to keep it moist inside your cheek. Hopefully, your dentist can save the tooth. You want to get there within 30 minutes.
It helps to call them ahead of time and let them know you’re on your way. Be sure to inform them that you lost a tooth so they can be prepared for you. This is very time sensitive so saving seconds is urgent.
If the Tooth Can’t be Saved
Ideally, you’ll want to keep your own teeth and a good dentist will do everything possible to make that happen. Sometimes, it’s not possible. That doesn’t mean things are hopeless. Today, we have many more tooth replacement options. For adults, the best option is to get a dental implant. They’re the most like having your own tooth back.
I hope this helps answer your question.
This blog is brought to you by Portage cosmetic dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.