Rahul, 8 year old child comes to us rushing in the hospital with his parents who were panicking. On asking they revealed that the child fell in school’s ground and the front tooth popped out (tooth loss). Luckily the medical room nurse there gave the tooth to Rahul in a cotton which he showed to me. I was thankful to the nurses presence of mind as she made the little boy’s difficulty very less.
You might be pondering why this story is important. Well many of our children or the little kids in the house or neighborhood have the chances of tooth getting fractured due to fall, trauma or any injury which might lead to tooth fracture or accidental tooth loss.
The question that arises is what can be done to save the tooth. The answer lies here-
WHAT CAUSES ACCIDENTAL TOOTH LOSS?
- INJURY FROM A HARD OBJECT LIKE A BALL
- HARD BLOW ON CHEEK OR JAW E.g.- A PUNCH DURING FIGHT
WHAT CAN BE DONE IN CASE OF DENTAL EMERGENCY OF ACCIDENTAL TOOTH LOSS?
BEFORE COMING TO THE DENTIST-
Parents or guardian tend to create a panic situation when they see blood or any injury and tend to make simple mistakes or ignorance which may turn up as blunders. Tooth loss or avulsion is a very common dental emergency seen in young children but they require immediate intervention.
- Do not panic or worry. Blood tend to mix with saliva hence seems as if there is a lot of bleeding but it is apparently not.
- You may give something cold to the child like ice which stops bleeding or a cotton pack in socket will also help.
- Gently pick up the fallen tooth or try to locate the lost tooth.
- Hold the tooth by the top or crown only — don’t touch the roots.
- Inspect the crown and root to determine if any portion of either appears to be missing or fractured.
- Don’t rub the tooth as it will damage the root surface. Wash it gently with cold water and not running water directly.
- Try to put your tooth back in the socket except the milk tooth and seek immediate dental care
- If you can’t put your tooth back in the socket, immediately place it between your cheek and gum, or in cold milk.
- Another great solution comes with the name of SAVE A TOOTH/HBSS SOLUTION/VIASPAN All are effective in saving a tooth for short time till you seek dental care.
- Make a prior call to the dentist or dental clinic or hospital and inform the doctor so that the necessary preparations can be made.
AFTER REACHING THE DENTAL OFFICE/CLINIC/HOSPITAL –
- Calmly explain all the situation to the doctor.
- The doctor might ask few relevant question regarding medical history or history of the child’s illness or medicines . Answer patiently. There is a reason behind all those questions.
HOW IS AVULSED TOOTH MANAGED?
Tooth loss or avulsion is managed by a procedure called tooth reimplantation. This involves putting the tooth back in socket and immobilizing it with a material or a wire for 10-14 days. Favorable results lead to bone being fused to roots of teeth and hence saving the tooth. Sometimes this reimplantation may result in tooth resorption. But it is always desirable to give a try. However, primary tooth are never reimplanted. Only permanent tooth are supposed to get reimplanted.
It would have been great if like rahul all children are given right care and right dental treatment to save their lost tooth. All you need to do is quickly locate a lost tooth after the accident, rinse the tooth with ice water, and gently re-implant it if you can, on the way to the local dental office or hospital. Making a call and prior informing the dental clinic will be of great help to the patient as well as the doctor as the necessary preparation can be made.
Even in less than ideal situations, tooth re-implantation can work and should always be attempted. Saving a natural tooth is definitely the treatment of choice and a priority.
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