24 Hour Emergency Dentist Hotline
0203 750 5307
Please fill in all fields
Your message has been sent successfully!

A Guide to Avulsed Teeth

A tooth that has been knocked clean from its socket can be referred to as an ‘avulsed tooth‘. Although it is a serious situation that will require emergency dental assistance however, it is not an uncommon occurrence and, so long as you act quickly and get yourself to the dentist without delay, there is a strong likelihood that it will be possible for the tooth to be saved and replanted.

Try not to get an avulsed tooth confused with a partially dislodged tooth, however. The two circumstances are entirely different and require different kinds of treatment. In order for a tooth to be classed as avulsed, it must be entirely knocked out and must have come away from its socket. A partially dislodged tooth is just that; it is only partially out of its socket and needs putting back in place again.

Can my tooth be put back in place after it has been completely knocked out?

Luckily for you the answer to this is yes, but reiterating what has been said before, only if you seek emergency treatment as soon as possible. Time is of the essence with a dental emergency like this as the quicker you get to a dental practice the easier it will be to replant the tooth.

When a tooth has been knocked out, one of the first things that people tend to do is scrub the tooth clean and take themselves off to the dentist. Don’t do this – well, not the former anyway! Scrubbing the tooth clean and sterilising it in antiseptic, contrary to belief, will in fact damage the tooth and could make it harder for your dentist to replant. Instead, if the tooth is still in one piece, you should pick it up by the crown and see a dentist quickly (never attempt to pick it up by the root as this may damage the tooth and spread infection). If the tooth is still in the mouth and is hanging on by a nerve or two, please don’t attempt to pull it out. Instead try to keep it in its place, with your finger, perhaps, until you get to the dentist. Even if it is only still in place because of one nerve, it still stands an extremely good chance of being replanted correctly and effectively.

Going into further detail, if the tooth has been knocked out entirely, you should know a few basic tooth transportation rules so that you keep the tooth in as healthy a state as possible whilst you are on the way to the emergency dentist.

For a tooth that is hanging on by a thread, you should try to hold the tooth in its socket with cotton wool or something similar that is held down by your finger until you arrive at the surgery. This will help to keep the tooth in its original surroundings and allow it to remain moist with the saliva from your mouth. If the tooth has been removed entirely from its socket, or if you find it hard to keep the tooth in place, you should place the tooth in a cup of milk. This allows it to remain healthy whilst travelling.

What happens when I arrive at the emergency dentist?

As soon as you arrive at the dentist, you may be required to undergo an x-ray examination to determine what course of action is required.

Sometimes it is possible, if your tooth was placed back into the socket quickly after the incident, that it may have replanted itself – so an x-ray will show whether or not work needs undertaking.

Teeth replanting themselves is quite common, and so long as the roots are in one piece, it is likely that the root will reform again and you won’t have any further problems.

In this instance, all a dentist will do is fix a splint to encourage the tooth’s development. It will also help to keep it sturdy and in the correct position whilst it re-establishes itself.

A splint works by holding the knocked out tooth to the teeth surrounding it – this means that the avulsed tooth cannot grow any other way and is forced into its original position by the other teeth. The splint, even though it can feel strange for a time, doesn’t have to be in place long, but does help strengthen the tooth and keep it in place.

What happens if the tooth can’t be replanted?

This scenario has to be faced by some people, and although it isn’t the perfect situation, there are still plenty of options that can be considered. In most instances a false tooth will be recommended. This can either be in the form of a removable denture, a fixed denture, or a dental implant. The latter is the most popular option both for dentists to recommend and for patients to prefer, and it is not hard to see why. Dental implants are known to last an age and are also extremely durable and realistic looking. As well as matching the colour of your existing teeth, they are fitted to the jawbone by a metal rod, meaning they are strong and hard-wearing. Dentures, on the other hand, although not as popular as dental implants these days, can also offer some positives. A removable denture, for instance, is cheaper to purchase and is extremely easy to clean, whilst a fixed denture is known for its strength and relative longevity. Each option has its own pros and cons and ultimately only you can decide which is best for you.

If you have dental restoration treatment, it is vitally important that you see your dentist on a regular basis to ensure that infection doesn’t set in. It is common sense that a knocked out tooth and ensuing dental work will leave your mouth and teeth more open to problems, so, with this in mind, it is essential that you attend regular appointments so that progress can be monitored and anything suspicious can be checked out and treated if need be.

Bleeding from an avulsed tooth

One final piece of advice that you may find handy is with regards to excessive bleeding that you may experience when a tooth has been knocked clean from its foundation. If a tooth is knocked out, the gum will more than likely bleed. If this proves to be the case, simply get a damp bit of kitchen roll or cotton wool and firmly press down on the area. Alternatively, you can also bite down to hold it in place. Stopping the bleeding as soon as you can is important so that the chances of swallowing the blood is reduced.