Lost a Tooth? Here ’ s What You Should Do

Misbah Akhtar

Losing a tooth can seem scary. While you should always take immediate action if any of your teeth come loose, it’s important not to panic. As adults, there are many reasons why our teeth can come loose.

RELATED: How to Approach Emergency Dental Care for Kids

However, in the here and now, it is crucial to know what to do next. Here are the immediate steps you should take, no matter how or why you’ve lost your tooth or teeth.

Lost a Tooth

What You Need to Do

The best thing to do when you’ve lost a tooth is to consult a dental practitioner. However, before you do that, you should attempt to find your tooth, and where possible, place it back in your mouth. This isn’t always possible, but it is recommended that you try so that the root can be protected.

Once you arrive at a dentist or a hospital, a professional will be able to diagnose and prescribe a course of action to take. There may still be a chance that your tooth can be saved.

Handling Your Tooth

Never pick up your tooth by the root. This is the most sensitive part, which means it needs protecting! You should pick it up by the head, and avoid letting the root come into contact with any foreign bodies.

Once you have carefully picked your tooth up, make sure to sterilise it. If it has been on the ground, even on your home floor, it is essential to clean the root carefully.

You can clean it by using sterile saline, or even water or milk. You should never do more than rinse your tooth, as again, handling the root can cause irreparable damage.

Positioning Your Tooth

It’s recommended, that you position your tooth back in its original place. If you can’t, try to hold it securely in your mouth while you approach a dentist. This is to make sure that your tooth has the best chance of being replanted, and that it is kept moist.

If you can get it back to its original spot, don’t force it in. Hold it in place, albeit firmly, until a professional can help.

Approaching a Dentist

You then need to approach an emergency dentist, or even a hospital, immediately. It is also advised that you contact a dental professional first and seek advice if you can.

A trained dentist or practitioner will be able to examine your tooth for replanting — most advice points towards having the work done within half an hour.

What Happens Next?

If a dentist doesn’t suggest replanting, or if you miss the 30-minute window, there are further options available to you.

For example, a dental professional may recommend a bridge, or an artificial implant, to replace the tooth you have lost. You may even benefit from a partial denture.

If you lose an adult, permanent tooth, don’t worry – as there are plenty of steps a dentist will recommend. Do, however, make sure you take action as soon as possible.

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