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How to Handle Tooth Trauma

October 23, 2013

When you are in an accident and hurt your teeth it can be very scary! Most dental trauma is caused by accidents or contact sports. Most likely teeth get knocked out of place and more rarely are knocked completely out. Following are instructions if you should ever find yourself in these situations.  

Tooth Knocked Out of Place

Your child comes in and says that he fell off his bike and hit his face. Upon close examination you see that his tooth is turned sideways. First wash your hands. Then pinch the crown of the tooth and snap it back into place. The neighboring teeth will help guide its placement. Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and then call Dr. Reese. He will assess the trauma and if any further steps need to be taken.

Chipped or Broken Tooth

Imagine your son comes inside to tell you that he was running to the bus stop and tripped. He has chipped his tooth. First, try and locate the tooth fragment and then call a dentist. If the tooth is shattered or more than half gone, try and locate all of the fragments. In some cases, the tooth can be repaired by a dentist with special tooth glue. If the nerve is exposed, it will need to be specifically protected by a dentist's care.

Knocked Out Tooth

It's one of every parent's worst nightmares: your child comes in with a bloodied face you and you realize he's knocked out one of his teeth. First thing, don’t panic! If it’s a baby tooth, it can not be re-implanted. Wash the child's mouth, apply cold compresses to reduce swelling, and call a dentist like Dr. Reese who can access for any other damage.

If it's a permanent tooth, it's critical that the tooth be put back into the socket within 20 minutes to avoid permanent nerve damage. If you can not place it back in the socket, place in a plastic baggy filled with milk, and then place the baggie into a cup of ice. Milk helps protect the root. Avoid washing, rubbing, or touching the root.

Dr. Reese is available for dental emergencies in Indianapolis at all times. If during business hours, Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm, call 317-882-0228. If you have an emergency after hours, please call the emergency pager at 317-394-7009.