What to Do if a Tooth is Knocked out

ELMWOOD PARK, Ill., May 31 (UPI) — A flying hockey puck to the mouth is not the only way to lose teeth, a U.S. implant dentist cautions.

Dr. Joseph Orrico of Elmwood Park, Ill., and a member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, says teeth can also be lost in all sorts of sports besides hockey and other kinds of accidents, too.

He advises the type of injury suffered will influence how the damaged teeth can be treated.

“Sometimes teeth are completely knocked out — roots and all, so in those cases place the tooth or teeth in a container of cold milk and get to a dentist within 30 minutes for a reinsertion procedure,” Orrico said in a statement.

The milk has a neutral pH balance and is a good fluid in which to try to keep alive any of the remaining living tissue on the root surface, Orrico says. However, time is of the essence. In situations when teeth are broken above the gum line, Orrico says the dentist might perform a root canal procedure to save the tooth structure and restore it with a crown. If a tooth is fractured below the gum line, it may be best to extract the fragment and insert a dental implant, a bridge or a removable dental prosthesis, Orrico says.

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