While patients may be interested in learning what the root of a tooth feels like, they should avoid touching it. Only carry a lost tooth by the crown. Some first aid kits have cleaning solution particularly for teeth, but if this is not available, rinse the tooth off with saltwater or milk. The tooth should then be put back in its socket (facing the right way). If this is too difficult, the patient should hold the tooth in their mouth (in the cheek, to avoid accidentally swallowing it). The next best options are the containers included in a first aid kit, and then a normal container filled with milk or saltwater.
Teeth have the greatest chance of being saved if seen by a dentist within an hour. However, baby teeth are not re-inserted, because doing so may disrupt the eruption of the permanent tooth. Implants are also not saved, although it may be possible for a patient to get a replacement one in the future. A lost tooth is a dental emergency, but patients should still use common sense when they suffer a blow to the face to determine if the tooth should really take priority over other injuries.
Drs. Navid and Faranak Rahimpour operate Southern Cross Dental at 1855 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80905-2516. To schedule an appointment, call 719-471-1717 or visit SouthernCrossFamilyDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.