A friendly game of softball, a pleasant afternoon of rollerblading, or a nice motorcycle ride can become a dental emergency when a sudden accident knocks out someone’s tooth.
If you or your child, other family member, or friend has a knocked out tooth in Edmonton, Azarko Dental Group’s emergency dental clinic is open 7 days a week with no appointment necessary. Our dentists will be waiting to give you immediate emergency dental care at our West Edmonton location at the corner of 150th Street and Stony Plain Road.
Azarko Dental Group is also here to help you preserve your knocked out tooth before you reach our door. Your immediate actions at the scene of the accident can help our emergency dentist possibly reinsert and save your knocked out tooth. We also encourage you to call ahead about your dental emergency to receive advice from our staff and to minimize your wait time when you arrive.
Time Is of the Essence
You can help save a tooth that’s been knocked out by acting quickly and obtaining emergency dental care within 30 minutes from the time the tooth leaving the patient’s mouth. Then the save rate is greater than 90%. According to the Canadian Dental Association, the best timing for putting a tooth back in place is within 10 minutes. After 2 hours, the survival rate for the tooth falls to about 5%. A child’s baby tooth won’t need replacing. Yet, the odds of saving a child’s permanent tooth are better than those for an adult.
In addition to timing, the important factors in successfully having a knocked out tooth grow back into its socket are:
- Health and condition of the tooth’s root
- Intact and uncontaminated pulp
- Little damage to the tooth – no splitting or breaking
- Intact gum and underlying bone
- Moist and sanitary storage before replantation
Handling and Transporting a Knocked Out Tooth
The killers of a knocked out tooth are dryness and dirt. A tooth that’s not in your mouth has been cut off from its blood supply and relatively sanitary environment. The more the tooth’s root dries out and gathers bacteria, the harder it is to save. The trauma has damaged nerves and blood vessels, and a dentist can’t replace those. But a tooth with a healthy, intact root can go back into place, where the jaw bone will reattach itself to the root to heal. The steps you take to protect the missing tooth, especially the root, increase your chances of presenting the emergency dentist with a viable candidate for re-implantation.
- The first steps you take immediately after a tooth is knocked out are:
- Gently pick up the tooth and keep it away from any dirty surface
- Touch the upper part or crown of the tooth only
- Do not touch the root – it damages very easily
- Rinse the tooth with milk if available – preferred but not necessary
- Rinse with clean or sterile water if you don’t have milk
- Do not rub or wipe – not even with a damp cloth
- Call your emergency dentist
You can give a knocked out tooth its best chance at survival on your way to our emergency dentist in Edmonton with a few options. Keep the tooth moist at all times, and saliva is the most natural and sanitary medium. No chemicals, soaps or detergents. No wrapping in a tissue. Here are your options in order of best to acceptable:
- Reinsert the rinsed tooth into its socket and hold it in place if it will go. Use gentle pressure with a finger or bite down carefully.
- If the tooth won’t reposition, have the patient hold the tooth between their cheek and gum. Don’t swallow!
- Put the tooth in a clean cup of milk if you have it.
- No milk? Place tooth in clean container or cup and have the patient spit on it.
- The last resort is transport the tooth in sterile water rather than tap water.
If you or your children regularly contact sports, you may want to invest in an emergency tooth preservation kit to keep handy. Hopefully you will never have to use it.
Your Visit to Emergency Dental Clinic
When you reach Azarko Dental Group’s dental emergency clinic in West Edmonton with your knocked out tooth, you can expect prompt treatment to re-implant the tooth as soon as possible. When there are few complications such as a broken tooth, the basic procedure is:
- Flush the socket with saline solution to remove debris and/or clotted blood
- Replant the tooth back into the socket
- Perform a root canal immediately or later depending on the tooth’s condition
- Splint the replanted tooth to the 2 adjacent teeth – to stay in place for several days
What to Expect after Treatment
If you have no fractures in the jaw bone around the re-implanted tooth and the root is in good condition, it usually takes 3 or 4 weeks for your tooth to re-attach firmly. Some patients may need 6 to 8 weeks with further treatment to make more complex repairs. Our dentist will instruct you about oral hygiene, eating and biting habits for the healing period. We’ll also advise you on follow-ups and dental exams.