Avulsion of permanent teeth

by Dr. Annie Marleau D.M.D.; Dentistry
 
Contrary to baby teeth, avulsed permanent teeth from a traumatic injury can be successfully implanted. The success of the implantation depends on the way the tooth is manipulated as well as the speed with which it is repositioned in the mouth. If the patient’s condition allows it, the tooth should be repositioned as soon as possible. This is achieved by holding the tooth by its crown (the part of the tooth that is typically seen in the mouth) and repositioning it firmly in its original position. The patient is then allowed to bite into the gauze to temporarily hold the tooth in place.

Care must be taken to avoid holding the tooth by its root as this may damage the delicate cells which will allow the tooth to reattach to the jaw bone. The patient must seek dental assistance immediately. The dentist will reposition the tooth perfectly and keep it in place with a splint.

If the tooth cannot be repositioned immediately, the tooth must be placed in cold milk until the patient is seen by a dentist. Studies have shown that milk is better than water or saliva at conserving the cells which allow the tooth to reattach itself.

Long term costs can be expensive (up to $3000) if a permanent tooth is lost and needs to be replaced. Costs and complications can be avoided if the first responders know what to do. 
 
Reviewed by Trauma specialists at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Last updated: July 2013, October 2015

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