Dental Emergency: How to Deal with Adult Tooth Loss

There is no tooth fairy for grown-ups. Losing a tooth as an adult can be a shocking and difficult experience. Here are a few top tips for steps to take immediately after you lose the tooth to minimise damage and stress. 

Call the dentist

You should contact your dentist as soon as you lose a tooth. It is often possible for dentists to re-implant a lost tooth, but this will only be successful if you act quickly. Waiting too long increases the potential for both damage to the tooth itself and infection in the socket. So, make an appointment as soon as possible to increase the chances of saving your smile. 

However, you may need to wait a while for your appointment, and you will take time travelling to the dentist. So while you are waiting for your appointment, do the following things: 

Protect the tooth 

If you want your tooth to be re-implanted, you must do your best to preserve it before taking it with you to the dentist. The most delicate part of the tooth is the root, always hold it by the crown rather than the root to prevent damage to this sensitive area. Do not place the tooth in water as this can damage root tissue, instead store it in saliva, milk or saline solution (salt water) as these substances offer protection from further damage. If you need to clean the tooth, lightly wash it with saline solution. Do not scrub hard or use chemicals or abrasive cloths. Handle the tooth carefully at all times to minimise damage. 

Replace the tooth 

It is a good idea to replace the tooth in the socket as soon as possible after losing it. You will need to sterilise the tooth first in saline solution. Once this is done, place the tooth back into place in your jaw. This will help to keep the root of the tooth from damage and makes full replacement easier. 

Once you have placed the tooth back in position, bite down lightly on a soft cloth to apply enough pressure to reposition the tooth. Do not bite too hard and never try to force the tooth back into place. 

If you have lost a tooth, you should stay calm and follow these simple steps. You should also book an appointment with an emergency dentist. They will be able to assess the damage to your mouth before carrying out any necessary treatment.